It’s formally spring above the equator, yet despite having moved into daylight saving time (losing an hour of sleep, ugh), it’s freezing in New York.
A week ago we had a bit of a ‘heat wave’, and the whole city lit up with such optimism that people dared leave home without heavy overcoats and umbrellas. I changed my cellphone greeting to ‘Happy days are here again, please leave a message’. That’s what 48 degrees Fahrenheit will do to people who had to endure 5 months of bitter cold, endless snow, slippery ice and howling wind.
I actually live in New Jersey, right across from NYC, my apartment facing the Hudson River and the whole island of Manhattan. It is truly stunning and when I look at the ever changing, unobstructed vista from the large picture windows from the warmth of my abode, it’s an incomparable delight.
But despite being only 7 minutes away from NYC, there is this this unpleasant anomaly: the temperature in West New York, NJ, feels about 10 degrees lower than that of the Big Apple. I guess it’s the price one pays for being so exposed to the elements, living on the edge the bedrock on which both sides of the Hudson were built, except on this side, there are no giant high rises to block the wind, only wild vegetation sprouting between the massive blocks of lime stone.
Daily I’d wake to see the frozen ice masses in the water, sometimes too large to allow the ferry to take its normal route, forcing it to go around the ‘baby glacier’.
On my way to the A&P, despite being agile and incredibly stable, I slid on the heavy sheet of ice that covered the stairs, going from Boulevard East to the store. Luckily, I was dressed like an Eskimo, and escaped with only a slight headache. I learnt a big lesson, to curb my zeal for skipping around like a kid after ‘time out’ and have full respect for winter. Or rather WINTER.
The snow melted, though on the weekend the streets were thickly covered with white powder, yet it’s so cold outside, I regret my decision to celebrate Pesach in New York. After one of the worst and longest winters in memory (isn’t it always?), it would’ve been absolutely delicious to join the people who flew South, to celebrate the holiday at any one of Kosherica’s magical resorts: Miami Beach or Palm Beach, the Atlantis in Paradise Island or even Whistler where it’s snowy but never horribly cold.
Oh well, there’s still time and hope reigns eternal: who knows? Maybe by the time Passover is here, spring will show who’s boss, and burst out in pink and white blossoms. And the air will be balmy and we’ll be able to put away our down coats for another nine months.
I choose this as my reality and pray Hashem backs me up. Amen.