New York City, December 1, 2013

★★★ The sidewalks were fairly empty, in the mild morning, except where people crowded outside waiting for doors to open on a clothing sale. The light was gray in the shade and flat but dazzling in the open, and the children had no objection to being out in it. Down in the subway, the cool and damp air had a quality not entirely unlike freshness. As the day went on, an unassuming high, thin cloud layer gathered, letting blue through overhead but suppressing the southern sun. Gradually the clouds thinned out again, and briefly the light was golden — till the sun was cut off abruptly by a solid gray sheet of cloud coming up from New Jersey.