New York City, February 4, 2014

★★ A studiously unchallenging placeholder. The previous day’s snow maintained its pretty positions on the tree limbs and the corners of the balcony railings, while largely yielding its claim on the streets and sidewalks. Not entirely, though. The schoolyard had yet to be shoveled. A jaywalker, arriving at the far side of Lafayette, cut through the Citibike rack, hit a thick ice patch, and lost control of his sagging pants as he went into a slide. The trains home were halting or tight-packed with puffy coats.