Friday, January 3, 2014

Today was very cold in New York. Wind chills well below 0 degrees Fahrenheit and as a consequence, reduced bus service, especially on Staten Island. We had to wait over 20 minutes for a bus in the wind and cold as we headed once again for the ferry and Manhattan. Karen's feet were so chilled by this long delay, she couldn't confirm that her toes were still connected to her feet for a good ten minutes afterwards. This experience induced her finally to shop online for proper boots that will not only keep her feet warm, but will also be steady enough to allow her to navigate the snow drifts and the urban slush that make walking in the city after a big storm such a challenge

New York is funny when it comes to harsh winter weather. We can easily go a whole winter without much snow or cold, making you think that good winter boots and layered clothing are unnecessary. But a mild winter is often followed by a pretty brutal one, and that seems to be holding true again this year. As we recall, last year's winter was pretty easy. This one is proving to be both cold and snowy, a tough combination for a city as congested as New York. Yet, in some ways New York is the best city in which to experience snowy conditions, as the subway can be counted on to get you to your destination with almost no hassle. Again, this turned out to be true during our travels today. Plus, what a blessing to wait for a subway in the relatively warm conditions of a subterranean platform. Staten Island's lack of a decent public transportation system, including its own but still far too limited subway line, definitely adds to its unattractiveness as a permanent place to live. 

We leave Staten Island, especially the North Shore, with some regret that we did not get to know it better or come to appreciate more fully its many wonderful strengths as a community of diverse cultures. But Manhattan beckons, regardless of the weather conditions. We are very glad once again to call it our one and only home.

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