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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Talking about the Weather

Chess in Union Square
Today it was startlingly warm outside. People were walking around in packs, lunching on park benches, playing tournament-style chess and window shopping.

The thought that you could lunch outside in New York in January is unbelievable. I'm reminded of something I planned on writing last winter, when it was insanely warm through December. One morning, I left my building and I walked into a hazy flurry.

'Mosquitoes!' I shuddered, or rather, those blurry bugs that aren't quite mosquitoes but may as well be, that hang out in swarms.

But it wasn't mosquitoes, it was snow. How can it be that mosquitoes and snow can occupy the same space in my head? It's just another example of how, as Mark would say, 'We're completely fucked.'

Tomorrow is supposed to be a little cooler and later this week, cooler still. There are lcd screens showing the news in the elevators at work, and on the short trip people invariably talk about the weather. What it's going to be, how warm it is, what on earth to wear.

When I was growing up, I never thought something as boring as the weather would be such big news, or that we'd talk about it all the time. But here we are.

Winters in Massachusetts involved praying for snow days, trudging down the icy street to wait for the yellow bus in semi-darkness, and scampering from the pool before your hair froze. It was New England, and such suffering was accepted. It's what New Englanders do.

Now things are so utterly different. For my trip to Aspen next week, I'll have to check the forecast. Will I bring my puffy coat, or short-sleeved shirts?


Photo by myself in Union Square.

5 comments:

Ha Ha Sound said...

Today was great!! I walked into my corner pharmacy in the East Village without a coat on, and the cashier I see every day was pleasantly surprised. It felt like spring. I was half hoping that there would be a ton of pretty girls in spring dresses walking about.

Reluctant Blogger said...

I thought only we British talked about the weather. My father can talk about it for hours and hours and I always swore I would never do so. But I am more and more as I get older. My children roll their eyes in just the same way I used to do!

Lucky you though - no-one would sit outside here at the moment. It's so damp you would get piles.

mama's got moxie said...

well, thank you global warming!! i'd much rather have 60-70 degree days in january than have to deal with all that crappy snow. but it is pretty freaky, eh?

Ruvym said...

I hate those damn elevator conversations about the weather. I toss this wry smile whenever someone brings it up and try to say things like "well, at least you won't get pneumonia." Although sometimes I just nod along, fall into the mold of being mundane because people feel compelled to say something, as irrelevant as it is.

I personally hate this weather. January is supposed to be cold. If I wanted a wamr January I'd move out of NY. I don't want it to be snowing and gross, just cold. A few days ago I ran with my friend in Central Park at night, the day it was like -5 with the wind. It was awesome. The cold psychs me up. Although there were some freezing issues as far as certain appendages were concerned. I made a mental note for next time.

Kitty said...

lol. I personally love the warm weather but it's a guilty pleasure.

I keep thinking about the poor polar bears out there grabbing onto ice cubes.

RB, what the heck are piles? I'm afraid to ask.