New York Daily Photo Analytics

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

First Flakes

Snow is a funny phenomenon - bemoaned by most once there is an accumulation yet beloved during its first flakes. That was the case yesterday when New York City had its first real snowfall for the winter of 2008 which stuck to the ground. At one point in the mid afternoon, enormous flakes came down and there wasn't anyone that didn't seem awed by the sight.
New York is not really a very natural place, so displays by mother nature are particularly outstanding - a flood here rather than in a coastal area or tornado here rather than in Kansas is going to be very dramatic juxtaposed against the urban backdrop.
Snow brings out the child in many of us with memories of play, days off from school, sleds, dogs barking, snowmen and snowball fights. As I wrote in April 29, 2008 in Small Gestures: "Like a child who does not need to go to school on a snowy day, a rainy day gives permission to play and indulge in the small things we often miss or forget. This opportunity can be for a pause for reflection - a welcome moment of respite for the weary New Yorker." I have witnessed absolutely remarkable things during blizzards - people making snow angels in the middle of 7th Avenue and business men in suits crosscountry skiing down Broadway to go to work!
So it is with great pleasure that I observed the final moments of our first snow and the thin white blanket that was cast over Washington Square Park. The scene was reminiscent of photos by André Kertesz, a village resident, who produced many stunning black and white images of the park after a snowfall. Snow softens the city and watching it can be a mesmerizing and relaxing experience.
By morning, everything had melted, typical of the city with its warmer infrastructure and climate. Our snows often melt or turn to rain, quickly erasing all traces of childhood indulgences. I awakened to a gray day, reminding me there's work to be done ...

6 comments:

Sterl the Pearl's Daily Pics of Boulder said...

love the pic! i am off to nyc tomorrow - will be sure to bring my boots. :)

Michael Nagle said...

Hi - I've just been looking through the blog and I love it. I am arist from England who lived in NY for a year, and have never recovered from my bad decision to leave. Five years after leaving, I still think of NY every day and call it "home". I lived in Inwood, near The Cloisters, up above Washington Heights, and I used to eat often at El Malecon, opposite the United Palace Theater, so it was great to see your photo of it in an earlier post. I'll come back often to check out new entries, so thanks for these great pictures - they really capture the endless idiosyncracy and magnificence of the city, and make me want to come back more than ever.

babooshka said...

The image is superb capturing the atmosphere beautifully but the test is the real thought provoking stuff. We rarely get snow here, too coastal.

Anonymous said...

What makes you think New York isn't in a coastal area?

Antonio Estevez said...

great shot. I am not missing the retreating of the snow. We are safe for now...

girl in new york said...

What a gorgeous photo - I was watching the first snowflakes as it fell from the sky, and, indeed, I felt the childish glee as you described.