New York City, February 3, 2014

★★★★ Wrapped in a thick blue-white veil, the winter solemnly renewed its commitment. The snow had quickly stuck to everything, reclaiming its lost ground, tracing the tree branches all the way out to the buds. Someone pushed a snow shovel along a walkway, clearing a dark open strip, and in a few minutes it had been whited over again. Lumps of slush slid down the north windows, along with running droplets. Snow bounced on the canopy of the stroller as it bumped through the slush, the flakes finding each other and gathering into bigger and bigger wads. The chains on bus wheels left slashes across their tire tracks. Cold wetness was seeping into one of the ordinary boots from somewhere; the rubber-bottomed ones would have to come out of storage. On Broadway, slush and oil floated together in a deep curbside puddle. Sparrows were zipping frantically around the inside of the station at 59th Street. Downtown, the snow was blowing into the subway entrance at same angle as the pitch of the stairs, all the way down to the landing. The sidewalks required a teetering, penguin-y gait, to keep the center of gravity directly over each foot as it planted. A garbage truck with a plow on it crossed Prince Street, trailing a reeking cloud of smoke. The freight elevator had a smoldering smell of its own. The snow never hesitated or subsided, but kept falling even from a pink-tinted sky. Flakes were still flashing in the lights as a setting crescent moon appeared in the west. Thick, fluffy snow covered the mounds of garbage bags, left alone while the trash trucks were otherwise occupied.