New York City, December 9, 2012

★ Consistently dark; inconsistently rainy. A morning like twilight brought drops on the window, for a while. The pavement below was dull with wetness, rather than shining with it. Outdoors, in the afternoon, there was a thermometer-defying raw chill and a drizzle so weak that the sawed-off Christmas trees on the sidewalk left dry circles in the shelter of their branches. Umbrellas served only to slow down their users and to block other people’s way, which did not prevent those with umbrellas for using them. Umbrellas could be deemed unnecessary. Later, the kindergartener went out and came back with a reproachful gaze from under his now-rain-soaked hood.