Juno: the #blizzardof2015 or #Snowmageddon2015

“It’s here! Winter Storm Juno’s First Heavy Snowfall Arrives.” -The Weather Channel 

The blizzard is here. From Boston to New York, wind whips along carless streets as last minute shoppers trudge home with the most necessary kitchen staples. Eggs. Bread. Milk. Beer. Schools and universities have closed for tomorrow. Travel bans are in place and public transportation has shut down.The snow, which started as light flurries in the morning, increased steadily and by early afternoon most offices in NYC had sent their employees home. Since I was never put on the company wide e-mail chain, I missed the important memo and went home an hour later than necessary. But that’s just the kind of dedicated employee I am. From the office to the streets and back at home, it seemed everyone was talking about the #blizzardof2015.

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View from the office

And now? Peeking outside of my little Astoria apartment window, I see

…not much. 

Apparently the worst is yet to come. My roommates are in bed asleep, hoping a winter wonderland will await them in the morning. Nothing better than a “work from home” kind of Tuesday. Daina, my dear roommate, faced the crowds of the local grocery store and we now have days worth of delicious chicken tortellini soup. Our stash of red wine, while depleting rapidly should last another couple of days. And tonight our little group of four (Daina, Megan, Sam and I) sat around the coffee table playing Jenga and watching The Bachelor on TV like any normal group of people preparing for the worst storm of their lives. 

All of this–the shopping, the wine, the food, the great company–reminded me of the evenings spent in Northampton around our wood stove. I remember Nemo and Hurricane Sandy, holed up in 38 Henry St. with good friends and a cozy home. The Nor’easter of November 2012? I blogged about cookies and Election Cake. This year, I bravely attempted smitten kitchen recipe for Salted Carmel Brownies:

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Did I use a plastic spoon to stir my homemade caramel sauce, successfully melting white plastic into my browning sugar? Maybe, maybe not. But my multiple attempts at melting sugar and 9pm dash to the grocery story for parchment paper seemed like small prices to pay for the delicious dessert that eventually came out of the oven. My stomach is full, my head is sleepy and my heart is full knowing I have a snow day for the first time in a long while. 

During the 11:00pm news, a politician warned people to stay inside since people who fall down on the sidewalks may be invisible to emergency crews. Invisible. Refinery29 has some tips for ladies needing a list of things to do during their snow day including lounging in pjs, catching up on reruns and fitting in a squat workout. Swimsuit season is coming.And me? I’ll wake up in the morning, open my window shades and hope to be dazzled by the early morning brilliance of snow on a January day. I’ll try to clean the house and answer those pesky e-mails but hating tying myself down to “productivity.” Plus there is online shopping to do since the bf’s birthday is coming up way too fast so tonight I’m just thankful for newsworthy blizzards…and Amazon Prime. 

Stay warm. 

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Snow in the Big Apple

New Yorkers saw their first snowfall of the season on Wednesday and like true New Yorkers, they put up their black umbrellas and trudged on. It was my lunch break and, desperately in need of soup, I ventured out into the world of wintry wind and overcast skies. The afternoon bustle was no different that the mornings or late weekend nights and people moved along the sidewalk, hurrying on their way.

I found soup at a cafe just a couple blocks from the World Trade Tower and my City Hall subway stop. The hot, spicy broth warmed my stomach and when I left the cafe, the air was filled with fine, white flakes. I put up my bright red polka dotted umbrella and headed back to the office. My office in New York City.IMG_2206

How quickly life can change. For the first time in months, routine has reentered my life. Monday through Friday, I take the subway and read my Kindle through countless R stops from Queens to downtown Manhattan. Like millions of others, I have joined the ranks of employed commuters. In my neighborhood, the Astoria community plays holiday music from large speakers hung from tree branches over the sidewalk and in the evenings, lights gleam in green, red and gold over the busy streets. It’s a working holiday wonderland here in the Big Apple.

I’m still the girl who looks up at the skyscrapers in open-mouthed awe. I have not yet adjusted to starless skies, constellations hidden from view amidst the flashing advertisements and glowing signs. This city, filled with sky high promise of glamour and power, buzzes with an energy I’ve never known before. Despite the warning signs of my body (coughing, stuffy nose), I move on to the next holiday party and early morning shuffle. I’m the first to admit that I’ve been caught up in the constant flurry of movement and activity that is simultaneously intoxicating and nerve-racking.

Where has my mindfulness gone? With this season’s holiday spirit and growing list of un-purchased presents, maybe we all need to remind ourselves of our own “presence of mind”. This week I wish all of you some time to reflect, homemade candy cake brownies and an early bedtime.