New York City, December 19, 2012

★★★ Unconvincingly pleasant, with the falsely calibrated niceness of someone making a threat. Silvery morning brightness poured east to west along the cross street, in the heavens and the upper stories, while leaves and grit and litter blew from north to south down the avenue, swirling in the plywood chute under a scaffold. The blowing garbage was dry, though. Give it that. Practically the same thing as Noah’s dove’s olive branch. It was cold enough to put a knit cap on the toddler, under the hood of the hand-me-down puffy coat; it was not-cold enough for the toddler for the toddler to yank the cap off again. The schoolyard was all transverse reflections of light and redoubling long shadows, with puffy coats moving among them. Could be worse. Will be worse.