New York

In Snowmageddon, All is Fair in Love and Sledding

Man and two kids in winter storm Juno in New York City

A dad walks with his two young sons towards the park to play

It’s here: Winter Storm Juno has placed New York City under a  thick blanket of cold fluff. The streets are empty, businesses are shut down, and as I write this I can hear the harsh, wince-inducing scrape of a snow plow making its way past my building.

It began with a whimper yesterday: tiny little flakes swirling slowly outside my window like a snow globe. But by mid afternoon, the wind picked up and all I could see was a horizontal stream of white on the other side of the glass.

My fellow New Yorkers were out and about draining the local grocery stores of supplies, cursing and railing against an event that was destined to make life a pain-in-the-ass, on so many levels, for the next few days.

I work out of my home and less concerned about having to brave the elements, I just prayed that I wouldn’t have to suffer through a boiler breakdown (it’s happened before) or a power outage. A deli at the base of my building, while a bit picked over, stayed open during the worst of Hurricane Sandy and I assumed that I wouldn’t go hungry.

What nagged at me was the feeling that I should go outside and photograph the City in the snow. We’ve barely had any of the white stuff to speak of this winter and it seemed like a missed opportunity if I didn’t at least try, even though I have come to hate the cold.

With only an hour to spare from work, I grabbed my camera and headed outside, bundled like the Michelin man and ready to jump into the fray.

Two little kids running around in winter storm Juno in New York City

Wearing matching striped coats, two young boys run in the snow

I found myself in Riverside Park, a block or so west from my house. Two little boys wearing matching striped coats were jumping in the snow as if stomping out a fire. I’m guessing the oldest was 6 or 7, the youngest perhaps 4 or 5.

Laughing, they ran around a tree then abruptly fell backwards to make haphazard snow angels before popping up seconds later to start the cycle all over again.

Two kids play with their mother in the snow in New York City

Time for a snow angel!

Their mother walked behind them, dragging an orange, toboggan-like sled. The little ones raced to a small hill a few hundred feet away. They’d been waiting for the snow; it was obvious. The City was bracing for Snowmageddon—transportation shut downs, electrical outages, food shortages—but for them it meant flying down a hill at breakneck speed, and they couldn’t wait.

The smaller of the two boys, his little legs unable to navigate the accumulation, would face plant twice before catching up to his more nimble elder, his tongue stretching to his right cheek to catch the snow dripping off his face as he ran.

One boy pulls another up a hill in the snow in New York City

Beginning the trek up the hill, a young boy struggles to drag his little brother up on a toboggan

At the top of the hill the two could barely wait for their mother to arrive with their chariot, their small bodies vibrating with anticipation, and within seconds of the sled hitting the snow they piled on and sailed down the slope together.

When they hit the bottom the larger boy jumped up before the sled came to a full stop. The smaller child stayed put, positioning himself, legs crossed, at the back of the toboggan—apparently there was a plan. Big brother was going to pull the younger back up the hill.  It was a noble pursuit. It was not meant to be…

Older boy pulls brother up hill in the snow in New York City

Maybe pulling from another angle will be better…

At first it was easy, the sled glided easily until it hit the edge of the slope and they came to an abrupt halt. The older boy wrapped the rope from the toboggan around his waist and walked forward, but his brother’s weight quickly brought him to his knees, but he did not waver. He crawled, dragging the sled inch-by-inch behind him. Slowly they climbed, fell back and then gained ground once again—the younger of the two patiently enjoyed the lift.

Older boy pulls brother up hill in the snow in New York City

New plan…

As the slope’s angle increased the older boy stood up and turned around. He hesitated for a moment panting. He brought the rope from his middle and lifted it high towards his chest forcing the sled into a wheelie.

He had a new plan.

Older brother dumps younger brother off sled in the snow in New York City

When adversity strikes the answer is……dump your brother into the snow

He grinned and then promptly dumped his brother backwards into the snow and raced up the hill. The little one laid sprawled out on his back, his feet up in the air like a dead cockroach.

Little boy carries sled up hill in the snow in New York City

Free from the burden of his younger sibling, this boy runs up the hill with abandon

little boy sleds down hill in the snow backwards in New York City

For some reason, the older boy preferred to slide down the hill backwards

Moments later, big brother was triumphantly sailing down the hill backwards, passing his sibling trudging up the hill on his way. I watched as the ejected youth made his way to where his mother stood. I felt bad for him. He was probably cold and sad and feeling left behind. His brother was sledding without him. When he reached her he dropped to his knees. Was he crying? Was he defeated?

Little boy looks up at his mother while playing in the snow in New York City

Being dumped in the snow, for this boy, was all good

No. He was elated.  It was snowing. He was playing. All was good in the world.

…..I forgot how easy it was to have fun when you’re a kid.

25 replies »

  1. Wonderful pictures and story. The only problem was your sometimes getting wrong the er/est thing. If there are only two (brothers in this case), one is older, the other younger, not oldest and youngest. I’m puzzled that sometimes you have it right, sometimes wrong. Hope this isn’t seen as nit-picking. It’s just that I am disturbed to see it in black and white, from a writer.

    • Hi Nancy, thank you for your kind words and your copy editing notes…Always good to have someone help out. Sorry to disappoint. Have a lovely evening.. or morning.. depending on where you are. :)))

  2. Lovely destinations and stunning pics! NY has everything and is full of landscapes! But what about Costa Rica as a destination? Could it be a good idea for your top list?

    We are pioneers in the tourism industry in Latin America. Horizontes Nature Tours has over 30 years of experience, we continue to lead the way In Costa Rica, but we need new perspective of tourism worldwide, that’s why we are reading and following this blog. Our extensive local knowledge and networks provide us with a strong competitive advantage. That’s what we would love to learn from your posts! Keep going and you are doing an amazing job.

    • Thank you very much. I don’t do a lot of black and white but love the medium. I thought I’d give it a try in this case and I am glad you felt it was worthwhile. Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you return. 🙂

  3. Lovely candid photos. The biggest storm we experienced here in PA was the snarling and griping of my kids when they were woken this morning to be told they were not getting a snow day. It was not photogenic, believe me.

Would love to hear from you!