Winter Tales: Walking Through Blizzard Jonas

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The snow storm is over! Jonas ended up being the second worst blizzard New York City had seen since the 1940ies (leaving the blizzard of 2006 undefeated on the first place). With 26.8 inches of fresh snow recorded in Central Park at the end of it all, it is quite astounding that things seem so normal the day after. Businesses are planning to re-open today already, at least partially. Restaurants and bars are looking forward to serving brunch and booze. People are out and about, enjoying their Sunday.

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Yesterday I went for a hike around the beautiful neighborhood of Park Slope. Even though the blizzard was full-on, people were hanging out with their bob sleds and walking up to the park. The occasional person on skis bypassed me on my way to Prospect Park. Prospect Heights seemed half-deserted, streets were not yet cleared. There is certainly an eerie and almost festive feeling when you are in the middle of snowfall. The silence surrounding you is only gently interrupted by cars and people passing by. I ended up walking past Grand Army Plaza, which was a popular picture motive for many. Then on to Prospect Park, where there was a high amount of people sledding or skiing over the hills. But still, less traffic than perhaps today, after the storm.

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My neighbors were constantly clearing the sidewalk until the late afternoon, then they finally gave up. Good for them, what sense does it make to keep on clearing freshly falling snow?

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At night I walked over to my friend’s place in Gowanus. Despite De Blasio sending out a warning that only emergency vehicles were allowed on the streets past 2:30pm, I could still spot the occasional car here and there. But it was indeed such little traffic that I was able to walk in the middle of a major avenue for about 15 minutes. It was easier that way, since the sidewalks were a pile of snow and hard to navigate. We ended up watching a few seasons of Sex and the City (which all took place in the summer) until we decided to walk outside around midnight. The snow had just stopped falling and we were making snow angels and marveling at the white beauty. Then we wanted to see if any bars were still open, so we walked up to Park Slope and found the High Dive, which was quite busy considering the circumstances. A few bars on 4th Avenue were open, too, but this one seemed like it had the most people in it. At 2am we had enough and called it a night.

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Despite Jonas being worse than the blizzard from 2010 (during which 20 inches fell), it seems that the city is better at handling the high amount of snow this year. Subways were still running throughout the night, although service that ran aboveground was suspended in the afternoon. It seems that getting to work tomorrow won’t be much of a problem, either.

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