★ The rain made scattered little patters in scattered little puddles, in what was beginning as an ordinary spring morning, neither too wet nor too chilly. A woman drifted down the subway steps with hapless slowness, umbrella and hot drink unsurely held in her hands. By early afternoon the puddles and and the rain-patters were general and frequent, and more than that where the drainage was bad on Union Square. Children were being wheeled around under plastic. The four-year-old had to be lifted over the worst part the gutter flooding on the way home from preschool, and steered around the lesser floods. The rain jacket was swapped out for the waterproof parka. The rain diminished only after the day was beyond salvaging, and the cold kept intensifying.