New York Daily Photo Analytics

Friday, December 31, 2010

Slush Fun

Right now, the New York City streets and landscape are defined by the aftermath of the recent snowstorm. Invariably, talk of snowstorms here will include the dreaded melting and slush, analogous to the Mud Season of northern New England. So, it is befitting to end this week of snow related postings with the last phase of a snow accumulation now underway with the "blessing" of warmer temperatures.

At intersections across the city, pedestrians confront slush puddles, often large and deep enough to approach lake size and be quite daunting - it is common to see people standing in contemplation, paralyzed with indecision. There is jumping, pond skipping, circumnavigation while trying to locate firmer ground or even abandoning a particular intersection and trying another. For those attired in tall rubber boots, there is just walking through without concern.
However, extensive walking is the norm here and sidewalks are largely navigable without waterproof shoes, so for many, lugging a pair of shoes to change into or the prospect of wearing boots all day at the office are all unappealing. So, many tread the streets with footwear that really is inadequate for a world of slush.

As the slush to snow ratio becomes larger towards the end of a big melt, there is also the danger of heavy splashing as vehicles careen through slush. An unpleasant surprise, now you can enjoy the day looking like a mutant dalmatian. The seasoned native practices scanning and defensive walking and has learned long ago that there is no such thing as walking too far from the curb.

For someone living in New York City, there is a building and adopting of many defensive strategies, whether it is where to keep your wallet, chaining bicycles, protecting against auto vandalism (see No Radio), window glass etching (see here) or how to navigate on slush days. To the native, these become second nature, automatic reflexes. To the visitor or outsider, this panoply of life strategies is unfathomable and to many new residents, the aggregate number of inconveniences can be too much to endure - see my story Dwanna here.

Even for the seasoned New Yorker, there is certainly a level of internalized stress that is often not recognized until one leaves, temporarily or permanently. A close friend who moved from the city described this period of readjustment as decompression.
For those committed to being here, Happy New Year and join the Slush Fun :)


Umesh said...

Hello Brian,
im Umesha, all the way from Sri Lanka, I think your pictures r awesome and i really enjoy what you write.
i’m a vid editor/director, I have some ideas that I’m planning of doing in NY, I think you could defiantly be a part of it ,if you’re interested drop me an email i’ll tell you all about it.


Jarart said...

Very much enjoy your blog, Brian.
Wishing you a very happy new year to you and yours!

Anonymous said...

Great photos and a great post!

renlgs303 said...

Happy New Year, Brian!
Keep up the good work!

sturgeone said...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010
E.T.D South Carolina Thursday PM.....E.T.A. New Yawk City, Friday morning. Arrival of storm (Have they named it yet?): Sunday morning. Friday got all settled, Saturday had some french food at Fada, Sunday breakfast at a diner on Via Vespucci right down the street from the Society of St. Mary of the Snow, and it began to snow. It snowed all day and it snowed all night and the cable and Internet tubes went out.......
It was a good storm, but it ain't got nothing on Moose Jaw. I didn't have to shovel snow in Moose Jaw though, I just had to carry the truck battery inside the hotel room with me and put it to bed. Was going to go a few places but the car was buried, and then the snowplows came in and built a wall with the car as filler. At least I had a parking place.
Manhattan was funny......snow piled up everywhere and people jostling and slipping against one another to get thru the gaps......subways Sardine-City........Politeness seemed to be the order of the day, though....people just gettin' thru it and all that.
Right stuff, them New Yorkers.

Sally Darling said...

The first photo of the gal with gray boots in mid air...WOW! Great Shot!
And, Slush so clever. You are something else! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Anonymous said...

happy new year!

Gunn said...

Great street shots... or should I call it action shots?
Anyway, nice and interesting blog!

Nille said...

haha! great shots! The weather in NYC is worse than in Oslo these days - who would have thought!

Happy new year - let's make the most of it!

Mary P. said...

A great 5-day chronicle of the storm! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

MacDougal Street Baby said...

These pictures bring out the kid in me. Oh, how I loved slush!

naomi said...

Love that the lady up top is taking on the city in heeled boots. Another graceful stylish NYC storm survivor!