When New York City Shuts Down

The slow train dragged along miles of snowy landscape before dropping us off in what was supposed to be the worst storm New York City had ever seen. Public transportation was scheduled to shut down and New Yorkers were buying bread and bottled water as their televisions and twitter feeds warned them of empty shelves at grocery stores. As the snow began to fall, we headed out. Syracuse was already making fun of NYC for worrying about inches of snow and let’s be honest here, we’ve lived in Michigan for the past 8 years. This is child’s play.

Two people standing on snowy New York City street in 2015 snowstorm.
But like good reporters who know better than to be unprepared in any circumstances, we headed to the grocery store along with 8 million of our closest friends. The checkout line snaked around the entire store and folded back on top of itself. We bought what we needed, walked home, and waited. And then we waited some more. The blizzard that was to grind the city to a halt sure was taking its time. Despite the lack of any serious snowfall, the city-wide transportation ban still kicked in at 11pm. For the first time in its 110-year history, the NYC subway system shut down for a snowstorm; a controversial move.

Snowy and empty street in midtown manhattan during 2015 snowstorm.

The air was biting as we walked down 7th Ave. to Times Square just after 11pm. Snowflakes played in the streetlights before falling to the ground, not a car in sight to disrupt their dance. While the vehicles were all but gone from streets, the people were everywhere. Like us, they were curious to see the eerie calm of the normally chaotic landscape. Everyone was walking in the empty streets, all seemingly armed with selfie-sticks.

By the next morning, only about 8 inches had fallen in Central Park and the city was alive and well. I, on the other hand, had come down with the flu only one day before boarding our flight to Spain. This is my public apology to all those who had to listen to me coughing and blowing my nose during the 9 hour flight. I hate me too.
But oh, wasn’t it beautiful anyway?

A beautiful view of New York City at night from an airplane.

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