It is exactly a year ago today, that I moved to California from New York. I ended up doing two internal California moves in that I went from New York to San Francisco and then from there to Los Angeles over the course of 10 months. Regardless, of my constant migration, I left New York last year in the middle of a big snow storm. The year before had been brutal as well. I left wondering what had happened to my beloved New York. Sure, it had snowed when I was kid growing up there. However, as of late, the storms seem to have gotten worse while my tolerance has gotten to be less. Is that a sign of aging?
In California, I have had to explain the concept of seasons to the masses that have never left California. Many have told me, flat out, that there is no need to leave said state. I just shake my head. I explain that snow is something that needs to be experienced other than on a ski slope. There is something about walking through Central Park and picking up fistfuls of snow and putting them against one’s nose. There is something to the smell of snow in the morning. There is something to snow becoming ice and one falling straight onto one’s behind. wait. Let me take that back. I hate that part!
Truth be told, I can’t stand walking anywhere in snow that isn’t New York City. Here is the deal. NYC knows how to deal with snow. It falls and immediately business owners and landlords shovel up the snow and throw down salt. You wear thick boots and crunch down on the salt. For the most part. There are times when sidewalks are not shoveled up quickly and the snow becomes ice and down you go for the count. But overall, New Yorkers know how to deal with snow. When I moved to the suburbs, snow was just the worse experience imaginable. Snow plows would pick up the snow from the streets and throw them onto the curb making it near impossible for pedestrians to climb through the snow packs. Several days before I left New York last year, snow had fallen yet again and there I went onto the ground scraping my palms trying to keep my son from falling. I am not missing that. I rather watch, instead, the videos of people falling repeatedly on ice.
Despite my lack of love for walking in snow, crazily last year, I went to Berlin for Christmas. What was I thinking? Admittedly, it was gorgeous. Dresden and Potsdam, while freezing to the point where I thought I would get hypothermia even with three pairs of wool socks on, were stunningly and hauntingly beautiful draped in snow. I would be willing to bet they were even prettier cities because of the snow.
For now, I am content living this winter in California. I shall see if I tire of this snow-free life. We shall see…..