Today is Snowstorm Juno, our first official snow day here. Although I must say, New York shuts down in a v methodical way, none of the grinding-to-a-startled-halt you get when it snows in London.
We had heard about Snowstorm Juno on the news, but frankly the American media is so sensationalised, we didn’t really pay much attention until we got text alerts from the girls’ school and day care warning that all kids must be collected by 3pm and to prepare for no schools the next day (today). Then a rather startling text with a siren ring tone from New York City itself (seriously) saying all vehicles must be off the road by 11pm whilst the snow ploughs get to work. Just tried to find that message and it’s gone from my phone. Sinister, do they have a list of every New Yorker’s cell phones??
I duly layered up in my full snow gear, and trudged out to pick up the girls and some extra supplies. The supermarket was pretty busy, even the local firefighter crew was there, stocking up on bottles of water and food. Settling in for a long shift. All the buildings had men shovelling snow from the pavements into the gutters, and other guys trundled along with special gritting machines that looked like v small wheel barrows spitting out salt. Yet more dogs twinkling along in the little red rubber bootees so popular with the smaller Manhattan breeds.
We were told to brace for three feet of snow. The New York Times reported the Mayor, Bill de Blasio telling us all to “Change your plans, change your behavior, change your approach starting right now. This could be a storm the likes of which we have never seen before.” But so far, it doesn’t appear to be that bad.
C has braved it in to the office today as he’s within walking distance, but I and the girls have settled in to enjoy Juno. We’ve pulled out every single toy box and reorganised them by cuddly toy, fancy dress, arty, jigsaw, musical instrument… and then fallen into raptures over long-forgotten “absolute favourite toy”. They are now dressed as Princess Jasmin and Pirate Izzy, watching Aladdin whilst I quickly write this (not many of my blog posts are time-sensitive, I’m feeling the pressure here).
Great big chunks of snow have been falling off the roof, it’s exciting watching them plunge down the 38 floors beneath us to plump down on the snowy roads beneath. There are a few dog walkers out in the dog park, and a few crazy runners shuffling along the Battery Park City Esplanade, but apart from that there are no cars, no helicopters, no ferries. If the snow lightens up, we’ll take a trip downstairs and play in the snow for a bit, then rush back up for hot chocolates.
This is the life.
This week’s Highs & Lows:
High: T’s fourth birthday party! We threw a Pirate Party in our apartment – 17 under-4s plus their parents charging around the place, having a brilliant time. C made a treasure map, with chocolate coins serving as gold doubloons in my old school tuck box. Felt so great to be able to throw a party so soon after moving here. Mainly T’s classmates, but a handful of other friends we’ve made, some expat, some local. Operation Make Some Local Friends is well underway.
Low: Unsightly pink blotches on my cheeks, presumably from the blizzard/wind/sleet onslaught. Better slap on some more of the girls’ Aquaphor Baby Ointment…