This is the third post in the Northern vs. Southern Snow Blizzards Series. In my last post, I shared my adventure of the 2010 and 2011 Heavy Snows of New Jersey. While living there, we decided to go to New York City shortly after Christmas. We bought tickets to see the Rockettes at the Radio City Music Hall and made hotel reservations months in advance. Plans were made, and we were ready.
Then came the news. A heavy snow blizzard was coming on the very day we planned to travel. My husband’s immediate response was to cancel the vacation, and I agreed with him until we found out we would not get a refund for the tickets from the Radio City Music Hall. They have a no-refund policy.
Well, that was over $600. I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me just to throw away that amount of money. I looked at my husband and told him we were still going. He responded by calling our friends that now live in North Carolina, but they are from New York. Our friends both agreed with Daryl that we should not make the attempt.
This a good time for me to let you all know that I can be very strong-willed, even been called stubborn by some (maybe many). I looked at my dear husband and said, “We’re getting into that city before the storm comes, so finish packing.”
I must say that my husband knows me well enough to know when I’m in my stubborn mode, for he did not argue. Instead, he let out a long sigh and informed me that if we were going to leave the house, he would be filling our vehicle with food and blankets in case we got caught in the blizzard with three small children.
Now, before you judge me for taking three small children out into bad weather, let me tell you that my plan was solid. Travel to a train station in New Jersey and get into New York City before the blizzard hit. It was all about timing, and I was very optimistic.
We packed heavy clothing and made it to the train station just in time. Our train was one of the last ones to make it into the city. Then we took a taxi to our hotel before doing some walking. At first, we were able to walk in the snow, but after dinner we had to take shelter in our hotel room. The snow was falling too hard. We had to look down while walking, because it slammed into our eyes.
That night it snowed hard, and the sound of thunder was constant. However, we were safe and sound in our hotel room. My plan had worked, and I felt good about it.
By morning the snow had stopped, and we were able to walk around the city. While eating breakfast, my young daughter recognized someone in the restaurant she knew. It seems we weren’t the only ones that had been determined to make it into the city before the blizzard came.
Snow was everywhere, and although some of the streets had been plowed, few cars were on them. The city was completely shut in. I spoke to a man working at a deli that lived outside the city. He was staying with some relatives until he could get back home. People could not get into the city, and no one could get out. All transportation had shut down. Walking was the only transport, and the city was almost void of tourists. The usual crowded streets had few people on them.
When we saw the Rockettes, almost all the seats were empty. I felt bad for a family I saw on the news. The father had spent all of their Christmas money to take his many teenage daughters and wife to New York City. He even bought tickets to see the Rockettes, and they lived at the airport for days, hoping the flights would run again. By the time flights were going again, it was time for his girls to go back to school. They were just one family of many that had spent a lot of money on a vacation, only to have it ruined by the blizzard.
We walked the snow-shoveled streets, saw many places, and even went ice skating in Central Park. We also took a very cold ferry ride to see the Statue of Liberty.
So where would I rate this blizzard out of the four in the comparison? This blizzard gave us the least amount of trouble. Although it was a disaster for many, we turned it into an adventure and took the risk. I can easily see the positive in that the city was nearly empty. The negatives were that the snow turned to slush where people walked, and every time we crossed a street, we had to step into those dirty puddles of slush.
Our biggest problem was the cold. It was freezing! Although we were completely bundled up (even our faces), we were never warm while outside. The wind was strong, and the cold was harsh. If you read my last post on the New Jersey blizzards, you learned that cold is my kryptonite. I’m a true southerner from the beach.
Stay tuned for my next post on the 2014 snow in Atlanta. We’re going through our second round of snow now, and all the schools and most businesses are closed again.
In this photo, we were rushing back to our hotel. The wind was blowing the snow into our eyes, and we were forced to look down while walking.
Cars were completely covered, and people had to shovel them free. All of the walkways were kept clean for people to walk.
Most of the streets were a mess in the first few days.
We were FREEZING on this ferry ride.