New York City, February 18, 2013

★★★ A blast of early light brought the toddler to his feet, speechifying incomprehensibly, unimpeded by the fact of the holiday. An airplane passed overhead, lit sharp and white against the deep blue, a golden-hour phenomenon at high midmorning. The cold clamped down and held on; people kept their heads covered even down inside the subway station; the gutter ice was hard and smooth. The light made a roofdeck garden statue shine like marble. In the true golden hour, the conference rooms overflowed with illumination. Outside, the freeze had slipped loose after all, the gutter ice gone lumpy. A young man wore his hair teased high, denying even the possibility of a hat.