Thursday, January 27, 2005

No Snow Love

I had no idea what I was in for moving to New England. I imagined it would be a total culture and climate shift, but I underestimated the extent of this. January, my first January in Boston, was a month to remember but also forget.

Snow. Snow used to make me happy. My mom knows this--as a kid who always refused to get out of bed in the morning, she used to pull the "Get up and see the snow that fell last night!" which always worked. Now, snow equals dread--Alex put it all very nicely in his recent post. My disdain for snow is unfortunate because I really used to love the way city streets would fall silent and mostly motionless with snowfall. I still like this but I have a newfound sense of reality and unfortunately this serene segment of the New England snow experience doesn't last more than an hour or two. Snow is big business here. People spend and make a lot of money removing it and people expect life will go on as usual regardless.

In Seattle, snowfall means a day off, and not just for kids--everyone stays home. It's sort of like community hooky but I guess it's not really hooky because everyone stays home. People in Seattle really appreciate the snow not only for its beauty, although brief, but the no-questions-asked day-off it brings. Here in Boston, there's really no such thing. Nobody seems to really think snow is an excuse for not going to work, or canceling your usual routine. This city is well equipped with snow killing equipment and so as soon as the white hush takes effect, the plows come out, ruining the tranquility I long for.

Mind you, there is still snow on the streets here. No matter how many plows there are in this city, there's no way all the snow that fell last week could be removed. Although I complain about the rapid snow removal, I'm also beginning to wish it would not snow again for a very long time and that all the snow left would be carted away.

End of story: My relationship with snow has changed a lot. Where I once saw snow as a pretty white blanket I now see snow as a backdrop for gunk--it attracts the usual garbage, dog pee, vomit, and muck. But all this, against a white background, is really well, gross.

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