New York City, January 28, 2013

★★ Tiny snowflakes came blowing sideways northward out of a dirty gray morning. They fattened up, and, for a while, stuck to the easy surfaces: balcony corners, parked cars, the top planks on scaffolding. Then they thinned out, falling fine and gently onto wet sidewalks, and onto one pair of pavement squares in mid-block, which were staying unmelted. The subway platform was greasily damp underfoot. Soon what was falling was indeterminate and nearly invisible, less than snow and more than rain. Specks of ice clicked softly off garbage bags. Later, in the office, the falling matter asserted itself one last time with a chorus of sharp chirping, bigger ice pellets striking the window glass. By the evening commute, all that remained was routine unwanted rainy-day wetness, with an occasional hidden patch of slick slush for the unwary.