New York City, February 18, 2014

★ White swirled enthusiastically outside the morning windows, subsided to gray, then went white again before stopping. The construction workers pushed more snow off the top slab of the rising apartment building. Outside, the slush underfoot was gluey. New accumulation highlighted and exaggerated the contours of the old dirty snow piles. Double parkers were giving themselves permission to sit further our in traffic than usual. A steam chimney vented down Central Park West, turning the people clustered outside the Park into an indistinct mass. Only flashing emergency lights and an acrid smell distinguished the scene of a wildly smoking manhole fire from the ubiquitous grayness. At the crosswalks, clambering over the snow was a better bet than trying to ford the slush that flooded the cleared parts. The sun came out and the fire escape dripped. A babbling gutter-stream undercut the snow heaps.