New York City, February 2, 2014

★★★ An eggplant-colored haze tinted New Jersey. “Daddy, where is snow?” the toddler asked, walking up Amsterdam. “Ooh, little bit!” he added, spying a surviving lump in a north-facing planting bed. Dark corners and grimy shrunken banks were all that the snow had left. A table of Super Bowl merchandise, not obviously authorized, stood on the clear, level sidewalk. People wore coats open, or ventured out coatless with sweater and scarf. Unused salt bags were being used to weight the posts of a canopy displaying chips and dip outside the Fairway. Full sun poured up Broadway, and for a long moment it was genuinely warm. Then clouds scattered the light, and they thickened into a solid rippling layer. But the mildness held.