Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Snow Clearing in New York

I was in Miami when the December 2010 blizzard hit New York, being a 'snow bird' as it's called.
People were very angry that the snow fall hadn't been cleared in good time in Queens and Brooklyn and Rubbish collections fell behind as the trucks moved snow instead.
Mounds of snow pushed from the pavement and road is all that's left of the snow fall.
There was a big enquiry and Mayor Bloomberg was blamed for being away and not seeing to the crisis, to which I believe he told angry New Yorkers, that that was no business but his, which I thought was an interesting way to talk to the people you were meant to serve..

But not long after we got back it snowed 8inches.
I have to say Mr Bloomberg deffinately got it right this time..
Now I don't think London, as long as I've been born and lived in it, ever got 8inches.

But even with 2inches, if you've ever been in London in the Snow, you'll know, schools close, pavements get slippery, and there's a constant blame game as to why there's not enough grit in the council sandbanks.

So you can imagine my surprise when 8 inches of snow were predicted by the weather men/women or the posher American term of Meteorologists.The people of Manhattan, had their bin/garbage trucks, drive all night as soon as the snow fell, down the streets of the upper west side and beyond, scooping the snow off the streets and shoving it to the side- not only this, but everyone collectively it seems in New York, is responsible for clearing the snow that falls in front of their building.
Cars blocked in by packed snow
 So like a cohesive community, when the snow falls, the landlords of buildings clear the pavement and sweep it again toward the parked cars as you can see in this picture.
This hems the cars in quite badly, but it's amusing to see people trying to get out of their parking places, kicking the snow away as much as they can, or just driving back and forth to try to make a way out.

Still, even if 8 or even 13 inches of snow fall, by the time you get up in the morning, the pavements are clear, the roads are clear and everyone just gets on with thier day and you'd never know 8 inches fell, or need snow boots. Except in Central Park, or when crossing the mounds of piled up snow into the street. Coming from slippery streets and gridlocked cars and trains, I think its amazing... And so much less frightening to not slip on icy pavements/sidewalks!

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