February 13, 2013 —
The Weather Channel dubbed it “Nemo” and said that New York City was expecting between three and 30 inches in the fast approaching snowstorm. Seems like a pretty wide swing, I thought, but what do I know about the weather?
I groaned at the “Finding Nemo” jokes that seemed to be made on repeat in the days leading up to the storm. “I found Nemo,” “I am not looking for Nemo,” and dozens of meme’s showing the Disney character barreling toward the coast.
It got interesting, as there was quite a bit of controversy over the naming of the blizzard. The National Weather Service did not get behind The Weather Channel’s “Nemo” name, explaining that it never names winter storms. The name, many were saying, was a marketing campaign by The Weather Channel. It was all a little fishy. (Yeah, I went there.)
I thought about all of this as I gazed out my window on Madison Avenue and watched great big white clumps float gracefully from the sky. Whatever its name was, it was here.
Maybe it was the large prediction of snow, or maybe it was the backdrop of a city still reeling from Hurricane Sandy, but everyone I spoke to was taking the storm very seriously.
There were the usual disaster preparation stories: troves of people leaving town, others stocking up on cans and bottled water, stores selling out of candles, batteries and flashlights.
I’ve always liked the snow and I savored the walk to the train. (The MTA had announced that it was closing early.) Well, I savored it as much as you can savor a walk through the snow with the wrong shoes. I tiptoed carefully around banks of snow.
In Central Park, some kids were sledding and throwing snowballs, they laughed and cajoled. From the sidelines, I wished I had the gloves and the gumption to join them. Instead, I caught a large flake on the tip of my tongue and watched for a few more moments before I set off to the train.
I did not want to chance being stranded anywhere but inside my apartment. There were many horror stories of folks stuck on the Long Island Expressway, stranded without food and water. I was very thankful to watch the rest of the storm from inside my warm apartment.
“Still snowing,” I would frequently report back to Emily.
There is something about growing older that allows one to enjoy being snowed in. As a child I loved the surprise day off from school of a snow day, but I hated being stuck in one place.
Now I could have stayed stuck inside, basically forever. No reason to go anywhere and the perfect excuse for staying home.
In the end, New York City was spared the worst of it but still clocked 11 inches in Central Park. I guess The Weather Channel wasn’t too far off after all. A few hours later, with the sun shining brightly and the snow beginning to melt drop by drop, Nemo was headed back to sea.