Snow Excuses

Whether you live here or just saw/read about it in the news, you probably know that New York got hit with a crazy blizzard on Sunday.

In a city as big and bustling as this one, you’d think a nearly-perfect snow cleanup system would be in place for times like this. But this blizzard has shown that it’s actually the opposite. Despite weather forecasts and storm advisories, Mayor Bloomberg and the city of New York seemed to be caught off guard, leading to an agonizingly slow plowing of streets that has led to trapped cars and important buildings like hospitals and treatment centers being inaccessible. The Daily News has boasted headlines like “Snow Excuses,” and New Yorkers have been shaking their head simultaneously at the Mayor calling this storm “inconvenient” and saying that the city is responding “exactly as you’d want it to.” Um, really Mike?!

How bad could it be, you ask? Well, the Mayor promised the streets in the city would be cleaned by Thursday morning. But this is what I saw as I passed Broadway on my way to work this morning (Thursday):

One of the city’s busiest streets completely blocked off during commute time, and the plows were just sitting there. It’s literally a mess. Cars were backed up for blocks and blocks, and people were walking all over one another on the sidewalk amidst heaps of snow, trying to get to work.

I was in Maryland with family for the Christmas holiday, where we got no snow, so I had no idea how bad things were up here. But then on Tuesday morning I began my nightmare trip back to New York: first, my train was delayed by 3 hours; when I finally reached Penn Station, I waited for 40 minutes for a cab to no avail, so I proceeded to trek through the slush and snow with my huge suitcase and three tote bags full of Christmas gifts to get to the subway. When I finally got underground, it took another half an hour to wait in the ridiculously long line to get a Metro Card and finally hop on the train. By the time I made it to work, both my suitcase and my Uggs were soaked in snow. I literally had a moment as I pushed through the crazy, jostling crowds in Penn Station (after waiting 40 minutes for the cab) where I had to sit down and breathe slowly in and out because I was so frustrated and overwhelmed. I had a major “I can’t stand this city especially during bad weather” moment.

Hopefully NYC will learn from this and figure out a better system before the next snowstorm. I, on the other hand, am seriously contemplating following the instructions of the strategically placed ads in all the subways pleading the case for New Yorkers to pack up and move to the tranquil, tropical island of Aruba. Nice thought…

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