New York City, February 11, 2013

★★★ Steam seeped sideways in the heavy gray morning, unable to rise. Beady rain clung to the windows, and the snow cover was already drenched to translucence on the grass and the balconies. Cracks showed between the snowy planks on the scaffolds. The mist outside the door rose from the pavement to chin height. A rippling stream of meltwater ran clear in the gutter. Almost clear, anyway. Relatively clear. The question of when the appeal of the old snow would wear off was being either answered or mooted. Water undermined the snowbanks. Half-dissolved dog turds lay exposed on the sidewalk, in mute and too-late refutation of dog owners’ magical beliefs about the transformative or exculpatory power of snow. A snow mass had slid askew on the hood of a black Acura. The subway platform shone with water; abandoned newspaper was being pulped underfoot. Downtown, the drizzle met the drip from the scaffold which met the splash from the drip hitting the slush. A grunting sigh announced a passing jogger, in tights and a puffy jacket, plodding ahead on the sidewalk.