Monday, February 22, 2010

Winter Beach Trip

It was sunny, we had to get outside even if it was still cold. I wanted to go to the beach even if it just meant listening to the ocean and feeling the sun. So we headed down to Funland. I knew they would be closed but that would give us a nice empty parking lot right next to the beach. When I say cold, there was still snow on the ground (in the shade). It was the first time I ever had the experience of throwing snowballs into the ocean (making little baby icebergs).
There were people already laying out, trying to show as much skin as possible while still staying warm. While I give them credit for devotion I take that credit away for being crazy. While I could feel my vitamin D level rising when I let the sun shine on my face we instead decided to build a snowman on the beach. There was a half melted snowman that I was going to move from the park out onto the sand but it was to heavy so I just grabbed some snowballs and a couple of twigs and made a portable snowman instead. It only took putting the camera real low to get the photo to look normal with the sand and waves. L. on the other hand had worn her rubber boots and decided to wade in the ocean. She was the only one in the water but the kids walking by looked pretty ticked off that they couldn’t do it too.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentines Day

For Valentine’s Day we decided to go into city. There was an exhibit for the Titanic that was about to end at the New York Times building in Time Square. They did a really good job of pulling you into feeling what it was like on the ship. All the displays were built to look like the ship and instead of showing just a bunch of artifacts (which were cool too) they explained the reasons leading upto the launch of the ship. ( a coal strike lead to a lot of people tating the Titanic that would not have normally.) Everyone got a card of a passenger with a little snap shot of their life that they did not find out if they lived or died until the end. Since they know the more about the rich people on board the ship, the majority of the cards had people living (or at least that is what I had overheard) which again shows the reasons why instead of just stating facts.
From there we went to the Winter garden. It is a large glass atrium filled with palm trees next to the World Trade Center site. When the buildings fell the windows got blown out on the building and all the trees died. It was one of the fastest things rebuilt (and quite depressing that nine years later and they still have not rebuilt the the main buildings above ground level.) I have to admit it, I have not seen a palm tree in a while and it was nice to see one.
Valintine’s Day and Chinese new year just happened to end up on the same day this year. We could not resist heading down to Chinatown. We missed everything but the tail-end of the parade but the funniest part were the people watching anyway. There were venders that sold giant two foot tubes filled with confetti that people were shooting into the air. The entire street had a 1/2 layer of glitter and shiny confetti that cruched under our feet like snow. By this time it was night so the light glittered off of it enough to give it a sureal look.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Winter Snow

Here every winter they have extra strong storms called Noreasters where the jet stream bends down from the north. Add to that every few years El Niño pushing higher moisture from the ocean in the air and it makes for a lot of weird huge storms this year. Of course this is the logical conclusion. The fact that there was so much extra snow this year made all the conservative news and family to say it was evidence refuting global warming. It’s scary that so many people can be convinced using observation without evidence. The worst part is that the extra snow is a perfect example of what would happen with global warming (extra heat and evaporation over the ocean causes snow when it condenses) but unfortunately as much as I would love for weird weather to prove or disprove global warming science and news pundits don’t seem to cross paths to often.
Of course all the snowstorms shut down car traffic in NYC. But subways and trains still get people through so it is not as big of a deal as other places. What all the empty streets did allow for is huge snowball fights. It is kind of weird getting in snow ball fights with complete strangers but I guess that is all part of life in a big city. When living previously with snow I felt trapped whenever the roads would close. But now I can work from home and take the train so I don’t feel stuck.
When the worst snowstorm hit and we knew we were not going anywhere so we decided to go for midnight sledding at a nearby school. We didn’t have sleds so we used our butts and and trash bags. The next morning when they plowed there were snow piles bigger than cars. There was enough snow that plows were not doing any good and they had to use front loader trucks to move the snow. There was enough snow piles we lost our parking spot. We live next to a police station and cop cars couldn’t get out of parking lot. There was enough snow that trees are ticking time bombs, walking under branches could dump enough snow to knock you over or worse have the branch break.