New York City, January 16, 2013

★ Frozen matter, snow or ice pellets, lay on the scaffold tops and some patches of ground, under clouds and fog and cold rain in the morning. By the river, a Trump building’s incinerator released smoke into the thick dampness and it hung there, going nowhere. A heavy, ankle-deep mist was rising from the paving blocks of the apartment entrance and blowing in shreds across them. In the afternoon, lighted windows — in apartments, in offices — looked cozy against the gray. The rain had paused, but the roof was wet. Downtown, the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse was the only whole and solid building on the skyline. Anything reaching higher than its pyramid blurred out on its way there. Uptown, the Empire State Building was gone, so completely gone it was hard to tell where to try to look for it.