New York City, February 10, 2013

★★★★ Down below the living-room windows, under a bright morning, people were sliding with a toboggan and a saucer where no hill had been apparent before. The black branching shadows of the trees overlaid them, and the plastic of their sliding vessels glinted. A man seated himself behind a child in the toboggan and rowed with his arms down the little slope, letting go for the last few feet, then pitching backward as the front end caught up on a rising snowbank. Out on the east side of Amsterdam, there was a wall of trashbags, mortared with snow. Sun shone through the snow atop construction barriers, six distinct light-and-dark layers of it, a mille-feuille of the storm’s history. Tires sloshed by on the sunny roadway; a bicycle lifted a skinny rooster tail of dirty slush behind it as it passed. The curb cuts were swamped. Islands of slush poked above blue reflected sky, if you faced uptown. Facing downtown, the water was the color of asphalt. A woman walking that way, in athletic shoes, sank one foot through the gray surface and exclaimed in dismay. Soft, thick ridges of snow, medium gray, still lay in the travel lanes of Broadway, pushed this way and that by each new set of wheels. Flashing drops of water dribbled from the supermarket awning, all along it. Thin streaks of white traced the uptown side of the trees, 15 feet up or more.