Weather Reviews
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New York City, October 16, 2014

★★★ A soaking rain, lingering from overnight, went off and on before shutting fully off at midday. From the west, the sky began to go blue. The once-fetid air had cooled. The clouds kept dissolving till there was blue shining in the puddles. The sidewalk tables went into service for lunch. Finally the clouds were nothing but gorgeous piles of light and shadow, pure harmless scenery.

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New York City, October 12, 2014

★★★★ A thick, spine-like streak of cirrus ran straight across the zenith. Light came into the playground sharp and sideways. The white parts of a mockingbird flashed as it crossed above the treetops. The leaves were going yellow generally. Maple wings were strewn on the padding under the swings. The spine of cloud slid off sideways, to the east. In the afternoon, the river was smooth upstream, the far hills in New Jersey crisp against the sky. The cauliflower would go in the oven, not a saute pan, to buy free time for one last look outside before sundown. Fading orange was on the building tops. "After I'm cold, I'm going [...]

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New York City, October 7, 2014

★★ Near-identical shadows of torchiere lamps stood in the same place on the same wall in two different apartments, one directly above the other. The clouds knitted together uptown, but were apart downtown for a while. Blue mottled with white became white mottled with gray. Still the afternoon sun found a place over Lower Manhattan it could mostly burn through. By rush hour, the sky overhead downtown was clear and blue; uptown was nearly the same blue, but now it was the blue of twilight on clouds. 

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New York City, October 2, 2014

★ The chill was nothing serious, fine for the short run to a late dropoff at school. All day, in fact, it would be comfortable for walking in. Even so, the gray was heavy and dispiriting. Around 1, sun started coming through the windows, and blue and white took over a substantial patch of sky. A life model shrugged her outer shirt off her shoulder in the garden as a drawing class ringed her, clutching their pads. Soon enough, though, the dimness closed in again, heavy and final, as if the brightness had never been.

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New York City, September 29, 2014

★★★ The sun came straight along the cross street, hit the mirrored tower, and came back barely diminished, putting a blinding two-way glow on everything. The subway platform was warm enough to raise a sweat, if one was in a hurry and the next train was not. The clouds had been subtly lovely at dawn, then opened up, and now, downtown, closed again. A damp, pearly Hong Kong light lay on everything. Though the day, the brightness through the window right behind the new office seat slowly failed, till it was time to dig into the tastefully recessed wiring pocket and figure out where to plug in the desk lamp. Outside the clouds had gone [...]

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New York City, September 24, 2014

★ Thin clouds moved over the morning sky. The air was cool and humid; the sun hung around for awhile, making shadows fade in and out. The clouds thickened and rumpled. By afternoon it was chilly up on the roof. A young man held onto a walk/don't walk sign and dangled from it for a photographer. His ankles were bare but he wore a knit hat. A couple of actors walked down Prince Street, hand in hand, with a camera and a crew retreating before them, undeterred by the lack of autumnal brilliance. The grays in the clouds, darker under lighter, gave way at sunset to an unexpected flood of pink.

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New York City, September 21, 2014

★ The air through the windows was cooler in temperature than the suffocating, humid air indoors, but it was too damp to ease the discomfort. A few outriders from the climate-change march were lined up on one side of Broadway, opposite the people still lined up to consume the new obsolescence-making, resource-intensive high-end mobile phones. The light gray thickness in the atmosphere was not really misty; there was nothing mysterious or enchanting about its effects, just a faded Empire State Building looking down toward the markets of Grand Street. Sweltering though it was, the TV personality crossing Broadway back uptown wore a trim glen plaid suit buttoned, with a necktie, as [...]

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New York City, October 15, 2014

[No stars] Reeking and full of incoherent menace, like a surly drunk squinting for an excuse to take a swing at someone. The humidity was suffocating. Clouds speeding under higher clouds opened moving blue spaces intermittently. Some of the spaces were large enough to let sun through for a while, creating a brief, gruesome caricature of summer. The wind came up and blew away the bright interlude. The light turned greenish and the sky slopped out enough rain to dampen the pavement. After a while it rained again, and again, splatting on the windows in the dark.

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New York City, October 9, 2014

★★★★ Colored party lights flashed from a dark apartment, persistently, in irregular sequence: shiny hanging decorations, twisting and catching the sun. The rope from the building-maintenance rigging whipped back and forth outside the window. Dilute white washed the sky, and there were yellow tips on the honeylocust branches. The air was cool on the cheeks. A little waddling dog wore a dog-garment. As Broadway opened out to Columbus Circle, the brightness accumulated like floating dust, forcing a sneeze. A crew was up on a lift stringing lights on the trees. Downtown the clouds were white scratchings on the blue. For a moment in late afternoon, a beam of light succeeded in penetrating the [...]

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New York City, October 6, 2014

★★★★ A hazy shimmer lay over the morning. Off down the avenue, it deepened to dirty brown. Light flared and bounced; backlit green leaves glowed. It was possible to get away with short sleeves, even by the river, though more people had gone to their fall coats. Buttons of sun flashed in the wet dimples on the sidewalk of Prince Street. A long plume of cigarette smoke rose from a woman slowly pushing a two-wheeled cart. By afternoon, the brown had cleaned itself up to a luminous off-white. The three-year-old, damp-haired and bored with the wait through his brother's swimming lesson, insisted on snapping a photo of the sunlit building across the [...]

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New York City, October 1, 2014

★ The new month, high autumn, arrived in stupefying gray. The children, disturbed by thunder and cloud-trapped street noise in the night, slumbered on and on. It was drizzling, the drops not large enough to wet things, but large enough to fall rather than floating. Someone had been coughing in the building hallway; a few more were coughing in the subway car. Downtown, the drizzle had gotten heavy enough to call for the umbrella. By evening it had subsided. Leaves were stuck to the sidewalk. A few drifting blue patches appeared in the gray to the north, even as dingy murk held on to the south.

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New York City, September 28, 2014

★★★★ Stepping out into the late morning air was like settling into a bath that had been waiting for a while—an enfolding, relaxing tepidness, not at all hot. Clouds softened the shadows on the playground. Children bored with chalking the concrete camel tried chalking other children's faces. The sun that got through was warm on bare ankles. The lid of the exhaust stack on a pony-sized Parks Department garbage truck clanged rhythmically with a sound of toy cymbals. By the afternoon, when there was no reason not to go to the playground again, the light had sharpened, but a haze still glimmered around the low-flying airplanes. The breeze was cooling, though it was [...]

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New York City, September 23, 2014

★★★★★ The three-year-old had to be argued out of shorts and into a pair of corduroys to face the morning chill. It was sneezingly bright; two passersby pressed their index fingers across their upper lips. Bicycle bells, chromed fenders, and handlebars glittered, crowded together, along Lafayette. The chill lost its sharpness, but the light remained keen. On the walk up the fire escape, the accompanying shadow walked up the side of the next building. Bright window reflections stood on the eastern and northern faces of buildings–low and high, downtown and uptown, afternoon gold darkening to late red. 

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New York City, September 18, 2014

★★★★ Denim and sunglasses everywhere. Cartons and backpacks and other baggage were lined up in the morning sun against the side wall of the Apple Store. It was abundantly bright, bright enough for some eyestrain, and fully qualified as warm. In the middle of the afternoon, a gray-infused mass of cloud wandered into the scene, cooling things for a while. Then it wandered off somewhere, and left Washington Square Park in strong sun again, for the drummers and the shirtless. A pigeon fluffed its feathers and contemplated a flock of fabric pigeon-sculptures feeding on invisible food. By evening, the Apple Store line was populated and stretched around the block. The sun [...]

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New York City, October 14, 2014

★★★★ Low clouds were moving fast in the humid morning. In the span of a viola lesson, the dazzling sunlight had been covered up by a diffuse layer of them. In the span of a subway ride downtown, that cloud-stuff had shaped up into at least one impressively solid cloud in a field of blue; other cloud remnants drifted here and there. It was necessary or worthwhile to get out into the damp warmth to fetch lunch. Across the Bowery, the breeze was cooler. For a moment, near the end of afternoon, the lowering sun made it indoors. Then by rush hour a sort of cover of sort of clouds, mottled [...]

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New York City, October 8, 2014

★★★★ Clouds the color of heavy cream stood below whiter clouds in the morning west. Then somehow they darkened to purple before resolving into pert, rounded shadings of gray below and white above. The breeze had an easygoing strength to it. The choice between walking down to the B/D and taking the 1 was so arbitrary and narrowly balanced, it took the impact of an unyielding turnstile to shake loose the realization that one path was supposed to involve using a MetroCard. Beside the bodega downtown, the tops of the trio of trees had quietly thinned to bare twigs. The late-day glow got a few feet into the glassed conference rooms at the street side of [...]

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Aberdeen and Churchville, Maryland, to New York City, October 5, 2014

★★★★ The cornfields were tall walls of brown, showing traces of pale green in their upper parts. Purple leaves sifted down over the choir where they sat in their vestments on folding chairs; the candle flames flicked back and forth and their glass enclosures swung in the breeze. But still insects were singing somewhere nearby, and red salvia bloomed in the bed along the church, even as the tops of the maples had gone flame-orange and yellow. The impression of stillness held, despite constant activity–the leaves flurrying, swifts or swallows fluttering overhead, light planes buzzing through the clear blue. A big, silent vulture glided right overhead. One of the dogs in the congregation growled under [...]

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New York City, September 30, 2014

★★ Gray clouds stood behind grayer clouds in a jumbled assortment. A horse carriage rolled by below the pediatrician's office window, and then an open-topped bus, the upper deck completely empty. Here and there the brooding looseness of the clouds admitted some blue: an long opening over New Jersey, a weak spot in the cover high above and beyond Lower Manhattan. One raindrop landed, and only the one. Over time, the irregularities diminished; the day stayed dark and chilly. Even to the end, there was a brighter if not blue patch in the west—briefly edged in pink at sundown. The night air was cool enough for open windows. 

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New York City, September 25, 2014

★ Morning arrived in dimness, with a soaking rain, perfect for not having to send anyone off to school in. The rain went away and came back and went away; the sky brightened a little and more drops streaked the windows. Clouds blew along from north to south. Late in the day, blue and white appeared in the west, just above the buildings. It was warm and close inside the elevator, getting more warm and more close as the doors refused to open, minute after minute. Outside, after too long, the avenue was still gray as ever, but clear light was up on the tops of buildings. In the time it took to [...]

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New York City, September 22, 2014

★★★★★  White, blowing clouds streaked the blue overhead like images of the planet from space. Litter blew along the base of the wall at the foot of the fountain. Even the littlest shreds of cloud, tattered and curling on themselves, were bright and solid-looking. Two women went by wearing scarves–lightweight decorative ones, but wrapped like mufflers. The sun warmed and dazzled the spaces it could find between the high-rises. Wind brushed softly through the still-green leaves. Getting to the river in the afternoon promised more sun, but also the brunt of the breeze. It turned out to be the warmth that prevailed. Later, lower light glowed in the trees and [...]