New York City, January 12, 2013

★★★★ Once the soporific effect of the feeble morning light had been shaken off enough to allow a look outside, there was one window of blue in the thick gray overhead. Then sun poured forth from the east, for a moment. Over time, the clouds declined from near-totality to a mere majority, and one declining in influence. By afternoon, it was sunny enough to make a stroll to the river seem like a good idea. Sparrows twittered in the trees beside West End Avenue, by which point the sun had forgotten about the walk idea and vanished behind a cold gray cloud. Wind blowing crosstown forced the jacket and the coat to be zipped up. Gulls swarmed someone feeding them, on a spur where the walking path looped out over the river. A pigeon sat upright and flared out its feathers, impersonating a hawk. Sunlight was falling on the water somewhere down in the 50s, and more sun shone off the western tower of the George Washington Bridge. Finally some of it reached the pier. Garbage and debris floated freely by the shore where the ice had been, and gulls bobbed on the surface. The visible surface of New Jersey lay in shadow, though glory rays raked over it far in the southern distance. The wind on Riverside Boulevard was worse than the wind on the actual side of the river.