And the snow fell and fell and fell. Some people will hunker down during a snow storm, watch a movie, play a board game, read. And some of us will run out into that snow and feel proud that they didn't let the weather get them down. The people in this latter group are insane, and I'm one of them. I made my way down to 36th Street for dinner with my friend, Monika, last night and then got across town in record time (underground) to my friend, Cindy's, holiday party.
Cindy's parties are always an interesting mix of guests, and I am guaranteed to meet someone (or 2 or 3 someones) new every time. With the company of Anderson Cooper's lead cameraman to a talented animator to one of the head stylists at Bumble & Bumble, there is never a shortage of cool stories, laughter, and delicious cocktails and food. I like to bring someone along every time to further liven up the mix. This time I brought my good pal, Jeff, who is always very outgoing and loves meeting new people as much as I do. After a good number of hours of merriment, I decided to head back out into the snow and get home.
I stepped outside into a world of sparkly white. The snow was breath-taking. Maybe the first snow fall always has a magical quality to it, though last night's snow seemed to be something special. I never saw it glisten that way (and no, it wasn't the candy cane eggnog I had at Cindy's!) It felt like I was in a movie, as if a painter had taken a brush to my life and made everything around me glow.
So how would I get home in this foot of snow? At that time of night the subway is slow and I would have needed 2 transfers to get home anyway (getting across town in New York is rarely easy!) Cabs were getting stuck and spinning out everywhere I looked. Buses were no where to be found. My mom said to me that when she lived in New York, her best mode of transportation was a good pair of shoes. I had two inches heeled boots, and still I thought of her quote and didn't think twice about making the hike on-foot. On a nice day, it would be a good, relaxing walk. In the snow at night, it would require a little more willpower and caution. I was up for it.
I skipped over and through the snowbanks, wound my way along the 79th Street passage through Central Park, and the whole time thought about how beautiful this city is. It was so quiet that I could actually hear the snow falling. The sky had a pink tint to it. The cold wind had died down. I felt a huge wave of gladness.
It was my next to last night in New York for 2009 since I'll be leaving for the holidays in Florida on Monday. This snowstorm was a little gift for me, and I could swear I heard the world whispering, "Yes, you made it. You can file away 2009 as a year of experiences that opened your life to new possibilities, a year when so much fell away so that you could find new ways forward. This year, in a time of great loss, you received the opportunity to re-imagine and re-craft every area of your life. Put this chance to good use."
When the subways are crowded, the streets are jammed, and the noise reaches levels you never thought were possible, New York can frustrate even those of us who love it most. It's times like last night, in that beautiful, mystical snowfall, that remind of how much of a home this city is for me, how much of a home it will always be for me. There is a certain crackle of life that lives here, and I feel blessed to live among it.
The image above is not my own. It was taken by Seth Wenig/AP.