New York City, January 6, 2013

★★★★ Nothing to complain about. The expanse of sky over the Port Washington line was cloud-covered, but with intimations of something less grim: bits of blue glimmered to the north of the train; patches of brightness glowed through to the south. By the time the dim sum hall had filled up, as the early brunch hour moved toward lunch, full sunshine lay over Flushing. Gulls flapped or glided over the train platform, against a clear sky. Midday in Manhattan was almost warm in the sun, or at least mild, and only a little chilly in the shade. It didn’t matter where the kindergartner’s knit gloves had gotten to, let alone the insulated mittens. He thrust in hands in his coat pockets and was fine. Other people thrust their hands in their coat pockets. A branch of a discarded Christmas tree moved a little in the breeze by the curb. Light worked its way around to find red furniture on a north-facing balcony. Incinerator smoke blended with a sooty purple haze on the uptown skyline. Down to the south and west, a few late clouds arrived, just enough and just in time to make glittering streaks around the descending sun.