Friday, January 28, 2011

News from the Arctic

I do feel like I am living in the Arctic Circle this winter! My backyard outdoor table looked like this yesterday morning. We had received another 16 inches of snow overnight on top of the three we had received the prior day!  Many hours were spent shoveling snow both yesterday, and today.  It's getting to the point where we don't have anyplace to put the new snow. The snow that has fallen, since the day after Christmas, is still in high mounds and piles in my garden and near the curb. (All photos will enlarge when clickewd on once, and then clicked on again when they open on a new page)

Digging out our car and driveway was another big job.

This January has become the snowiest in the weather records books as an unprecedented 36 inches have dropped since Jan. 1. The record up to now was 27.4 inches, set in 1925. The typical snowfall for an entire New York City winter is just 22 inches. More snow is expected this weekend and another large snowstorm accumulation is expected next week! There is a side benefit to the almost constant snow fall as I am getting an upper body work out from pushing, lifting and tossing snow.  Jumping over slush on street corners or climbing over hills of snow is also giving my lower body a work out. No need to pay for a gym membership this winter, as Mother Nature has become my personal trainer. (Smile)

A friend gave me permission to show photos she took on her way to work yesterday, in the Flatiron/Gramercy neighborhood, in and around Madison Park. The freshly fallen snow looked beautiful for a few hours.  Unfortunately, so much snow in New York City has created major inconveniences for tourists, commuters, students and residents and has strained the snow removal budget. NYC sets aside $38 million a year for snow removal, but the city admits they spent more than that digging out of the post-Christmas blizzard alone!

A resilient New Yorker found the time and whimsy to build a snowman in the park -- I think its strange looking face is drawn on with a magic marker -- or is this Frosty supposed to look like it is laughing loudly over all our snow frustration?

Do you remember my blog post about Le Parker Meridien Hotel's annual Gingerbread Extravaganza displayed in the hotel's atrium during the Christmas season? I received an e-mail today from the Parker Meridien that the winning gingerbread was "King Kong" built by the hotel's own bakery, Norma. The exhibit was free, and voting was done by the visiting public, at a $1 a vote, with the money going to City Harvest. A total of $16,373 was raised this year for City Harvest, the world's first food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city's hungry men, women, and children.  I loved all the gingerbreads on display, with the theme this year of "Movies Made in New York City."  I will now admit that I also voted for King Kong to win!  Le Parker Meridien promises a bigger and better gingerbread display next year, and I'm looking forward to photographing it again.

Today mark's the sad 25th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster. 

I'll always remember that I first heard the news of this disaster when I was picking up my daughter from pre-school.  In stunned disbelief I rushed home to watch the news on TV and saw videos of the horrible explosion that occurred 73 seconds after lift off being shown again, and again. I think everyone who witnessed this event was especially saddened by the loss of Christa McAuliffe, a teacher who was selected from more than 11,000 applicants to participate in the NASA Teacher In Space Project.  After her death, schools and scholarships were named in her honor, and in 2004 she was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

To learn more about the Challenger Disaster you can watch this short film clip:

"The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honoured us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.' "
 ~ President Ronald Reagan

I hope all is well, and winter is being kind where you are. Have a wonderful weekend!  I will be shoveling snow....again!

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Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

That is some snow you have there!!! It does look beautiful, but I can imagine how hard it must be to get around in the city with that amount of snow.

La Petite Gallery said...

Today it was 35 and the dog and I ventured out, My driveway looks like a tobogan run. Those photo's a are just like here, I am going to get the roof raked tomorrow. More snow on the way. Stay warm


H said...

This is more than we had in November, and that was bad enough (once the novelty wore off!). I'm pleased it is clear here now because i am travelling to visit a friend tomorrow.

I remember watching the Challenger Shuttle disaster too. It was before my boys were born; before I was married in fact, but, like you, I watched it on the telly again and again and again. As a newly qualified teacher, I was especially sad at the loss of Christa McAuliffe.

EliFla said...

White New York is wonderful...but I imagine it's really difficult to live NY in this condition..for everybody!!!
HAve a a nice white white weekend!Hugs, Flavia

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Hi Pat! We're Sisters in Snow this year, not much better north of Philly! I'd gladly give up Mother Nature as my personal trainer... I prefer a more hunky Sven:@)

Lily Hydrangea said...

I think I have just resigned myself to the idea that there will be snow on the ground until April!
Meanwhile I'm going to get me some snowshoes.
: )

Sara said...

Where I live we are snow-deprived, so your photos (and your friend's) look lovely; however, I do realize it's a bear to have to live in that for weeks on end. I'm wondering about those global warming theories too??

How wonderful that gingerbread could raise money to help like that. Good for the Meridien Hotel!

Yes, I think many of us remember where we were when the Challenger disaster happened....I can see it still very clearly, at the office at work and everyone who was there gathered around the TV.

Anonymous said...

Awed by the amount of snow NYC has had this winter and how much it cost to clean up just one snow! I can believe you're getting an upper and lower body're thinking positive about how it's helping you ;) RE: Challenger...We had started out in our RV on a move back to Virginia from Arizona...we had a CB radio and all of sudden I realized the truckers were all upset over something...we started listening and discovered that the Challenger had exploded on takeoff. It was even more personal to us because we'd just watched the big, big plane piggy backing the Challenger back to the east coast when it took of from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, AZ. Everyone out west was shocked and crying...everybody had been so excited about Christa M being aboard...a sad day...

Lucy (aka rharper) said...

I totally forgot about this day and the Challenger explosion. Like everybody else, I know exactly what and where I was. At work (elementary school office)..I took a note to a teacher and walked through the nurse's office back to my office. The nurse had a kind of nervous giggle as she told me the Challenger just exploded. My whole day and the days afterwards changed.

Donnie said...

What a sweet post. The Challenger was such a sad event. I'm sorry for you all buried in so much snow. Hope you get a reprieve soon. Have a wonderful weekend.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

I've been hearing about New York's endless winter...and your pictures tell the story! It's all been coming down as rain over here.

How well I remember that morning 25 years ago I was driving down our country road and heard the sad news of the Challenger disaster. I kept the Time magazine that covered the space shuttle explosion.

It seems a very long time ago since I last visited you here on your blog. I have some catching up to do! We arrived home last night...from an amazing time in Africa.

Old Kitty said...

Oh look at that snow!!! NYC is so submerged under snow!!! I hope you and yours are safe and taking extra care in such amazing and unusual weather!! I do hope it thaws soon - I do hope spring is on its way there!! And great that someone's taken time to be all artistic with a magic marker!

Oh wow!! The gingerbread exhibition is such a fun and wonderful event to have!! I thought they were all winners but yay and hoooraaah to King Kong and better still to the monies raised for such a worthy cause!! Yay!!!

I do remember the Challenger shuttle disaster very well!!! That was just awful. I do remember not quite realising how important Christ McAuliffe's presence was - now of course I appreciate why her loss was all the more poignant especially when her students were watching this.

Thanks for sharing these amazing pics and for the Challenger clip. Please stay safe! Take care

Sheila said...

Hello Pat - Well you have certainly had a lot of snow. I hope that the streets are being cleared for you. In the closest city to us the residential areas have still not been cleared and a fire truck was stuck on a residential street for 4 hours last weekend. We've had a few days above freezing this week but out snow keeps falling. I'm sure tired of winter but there's nothing to do but keep shoveling. It's hard to believe that 25 years have passed since that fateful day. I remember seeing the news on tv and being late taking my daughter to nursery school. One other mother arrived late as well and we talked outside the nursery school for ages. I'll never forget that day.

Ginny said...

Oh gosh!! We had snow like this last year, over 40 inches in just two huge snows. Are they doing a decent job of clearing the streets? King Kong is very cool, I enlarged him.

Catherine said...

After looking at your snow pictures I`m happy to be living in the desert!
It was 70 here today! I don`t miss the snow.

Stay safe and warm,

Cherry Chick said...

I so appreciate your photographs of the snow while I sit here in sunny FL. It looks like marshmallow cream all over the place.
My favorite is how the snow forms so perfectly on your backyard table. The one of the 'white' trees that your friend took on her way to work is amazing, too.
I think I would be exhausted if I had to deal with all of that snow and I amazed how people are able to go about their daily lives with it everywhere.
Thanks so much for sharing with us and do take care.

ARLENE said...

This is one winter where those of us in the hinterlands are almost feeling as though we've dodged a bullet. We live in the woods and generally have a snow-covered lawn through March, but you city-dwellers have far surpassed us this year. Beautiful, yes, but I've had enough! Took a spill this morning on icy steps and am more than ready for spring (or escape to my Florida condo). Be careful when you're shoveling!

KarenHarveyCox said...

Oh Pat, that is allot of snow for New York. Up here we are used to the white stuff, but I remember the city coming to a stop when I lived there. We are expecting more snow tomorrow. Amazing amounts of snow!

Stay warm. Your photographs are gorgeous.


Kathleen said...

I KNOW!! I am worried about my shrubs being under so much snow, but there is no where to put it!

Great snow pics, Pat! Your friend's too.

I remember the day so clearly, in the classroom with 32 10 year olds. One yelled out, Oh good , they blew up the teacher!
I will never forget, and wonder what happened to that little darling.:( I wanted to burst into tears!
Get ready for the next blast coming our way!

Joanne Kennedy said...

Wow! Everything does look so pretty but for the first time EVER I think I'm happy I don't live in NY. We are having sunny days here in CA. In fact, I'm in a tank top and flip flops today. Though they say it should cool down and maybe rain is coming next week.

Does the Statute of Liberty get covered in snow too? That would be something to see, the whole little island covered in snow.

Stay warm!

Farmchick said...

Sorry to hear you are under so much snow. It can make one very weary of the winter!

Barbara said...

Oh Pat we are so inundated here on Staten Island, too! I am counting the days til spring but I am sure there will be snow still on the ground when it finally arrives! Love the photos of your yard and your friend's of NYC. I am glad to be retired!! xo Barbara F.

Sarah said...

Pat, I knew you were to get more snow, I just didn't know how much. Oh, my. You must be so tired of all this by now. I can't imagine. Hate to tell you but it was in the 70s here today.
Thank your friend for sharing the photos. The mosaic is gorgeous.
Stay safe and warm, dear friend. ~ Sarah

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Pat, Global warming, you know!!!!!! Har Har Har..... Isn't it unbelievable what is happening this winter so far???? AND--it's not nearly over!

We have been a little lucky here though (at least George is happy) since although we have had several snow storms, they have all been fairly small. It's just unbelievable how much you all have gotten...

King Kong was one of my fav's.... Thanks for updating us.

Take care and be SAFE.

Grace said...

I can not beleive we are going to get more snow Tuesday. We don't have anyplace else to put it. lol Your pictures look great. I can not beleive it has been so long since the Challenger shuttle disaster. Grace xoxox

Infatuated with Homes and Gardens said...

Ican't imagine this much snow ,your photos are brilliant, and i do remeber the challenger tragedy!doesn't time fly


Sharon Lovejoy said...

My dear Pat,

Thank you so much for your wonderful and intimate visit to my blog. I am so happy we met and think we have lots of similarities, two country girls trapped in the city, although in the summer I do live on an island in Maine.

Let's keep in touch!

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island (are you up for my giveaway, which ends tomorrow afternoon for followers)

Carol said...

Great pics, Pat! It really is so pretty at first. But it's getting ridiculous. A little more tonight and they said maybe another Nor'easter on Tuesday or Wednesday.

What a sad day that was, I was in Florida at a gas station, heard the news on a radio, so sad.

Lovella ♥ said...

Pat . ..I smiled at your title. They have been saying the magnetic north has been shifting and now we know where it went.
The pictures are beautiful. I would have like a bit of snow. ..go figure. . a Canadian wishing for one decent snowfall. Of course. . .now it too late, I'm looking at our daffodils poking through the ground.
I remember exactly where I was too when I saw live the challenger explode. I was sitting nursing my wee one. I sat in disbelief and then called my girlfriend ( Kathy actually who is also one of the MGCC). I walked over to her place and we sat the rest of the day side by side babes in hand ...feeling ever so sad.

Lynn said...

I was on recess duty, and when I came back to my classroom another teacher told me. I'll never forget it.

Jo said...

winter has been so much kinder to us in my little part of the world ... and the Shuttle ... who can forget ... i can still picture that cloud trail without looking at a picture ... it was one of those monumentally sad sad days ...

Sea Witch said...

Stay warm Pat. My cousin in Queens is dying fo a little Key West with all of the snow New Yorkers have been receiving lately. Still, it does make for lovely photo ops. I just don't know where they are going to put it all once they start plowing the roads clear. How much can ou dump in the river? Either way, make a trek to your favorite bakery and grab a capachinno and call it a day. Sea Witch

Ⓙ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

I remember where I was when the Challenger blew up. I remember everything about it. I couldn't believe it when they showed the explosion over and over again on the news yesterday (Friday).

Mary said...

Pat, I feel for you with all the snow! I can't even imagine having 3 feet of it since Jan 1st... I enjoy seeing your photos though~ your poor car! We are snow free and got rain instead with this last system...a little bit goes a long way for us without the snow removal equipment & budget.

Hope Mother Nature sends you a very early Spring!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Wow! That's a lotta snow!! It was 73 yesterday afternoon here (after being in the low 20's earlier in the week). Thank you for remembering the Challenger.

Anonymous said...

I'm feeling your pain here in Central PA...however, we do have somewhere to go with it...
Love your pictures...I've always been infatuated with NYC...I used to go on bus trips...overnighters and, shows, touristy things. Since my illness I can't ride that far @ least not on a bus where i'm trapped and can't stop every now and then to stretch...but I still love NYC.

The Challenger is one of those events that you remember where you were, who you were with, how you felt... it was so sad.

Stay warm...we're supposed to have some 'clipper' effect snow here this weekend...


diane b said...

You sure are having plenty of snow and we have had plenty of rain and 2 cyclones on there way here. Digging out the car must be a bother, driving on the slippery roads ugh. Take care keep warm. Great pics.

Anonymous said...

Wow what an amazing amount of snow! Yes I can imagine the work out you are getting from clearing it.

I remember that disaster too. So sad.

nanny said...

I have been thinking about you...and your snow....
I saw that on GMA yesterday that there is no place to put the snow. I didn't know they took the snow somewhere....guess I never stopped to think about it.
You be careful shoveling...that's very hard work!

From the Kitchen said...

Oh dear--more snow for you! Your winter looks like our usual winter. However, we haven't had our usual winter. Just a few inches at a time so far. Wonderful photos.

I was at my first day of jury duty when the shuttle disaster occurred. We were living in Charleston, S.C. and it started snowing (a rare occurrence) on my way to the courthouse. We were dismissed for that day.


The Quintessential Magpie said...

That is gorgeous! It may be treacherous to move around in, but it is gorgeous, Pat! Loved seeing these photos. Thank your friend for us for her photos.

Neat that King Kong won. They were all so unique, and the cause was great.

I always hate to hear about disasters in the space program, and that one was so awful. We love our astronauts in Florida, and one of my favorite destinations is to the Cape and the space center. People don't realize how many wonderful discoveries are made with the space program and how much we have benefitted from it in our daily lives. And those astronauts are all heroes in my book!


Sheila :-)

Kat said...

I can't believe how much snow you have gotten this year. My niece lives in Philly, and she keeps posting pictures of all the snow. I remember how difficult snow is to deal with in a big city. Don't miss it even a teeny tiny bit, although those photos are beautiful. It was 70 and sunny here yesterday, absolutely glorious. I too remember the Challenger disaster like it was yesterday. I kept watching the news over and over again in stunned disbelief. I remember thinking how traumatic for all the students watching their teacher. So terribly sad. Kat

Vagabonde said...

In Atlanta we feel that we had so much snow but compared to yours in New York we had very little. Snow gives us beautiful pictures though and I loved yours. I enjoyed your post on the Opera. Last November we were lucky to see La Boheme in New York and loved it. I just published a post with an Italian song and translated it into English (I hope I did not make any mistake.) I always enjoy your lovely posts.

Sue said...

Delightful to look at, but when you have to deal with all that snow, it can be a headache! I am counting ourselves fortunate that our little storms are not like yours. U really a looking forward to spring and warmer temps. Not to mention, SUNSHINE!!! Stay warm and loosened up just in case you have to go out and shovel today! :-)
~ Sue

Fifi Flowers said...

GORGEOUS snow photos!
WOW... I can't believe it's been 25 yrs ago the shuttle exploded... I remember watching that... I called my mom and told her and she said no way... Shocking to see something like that...horrible!
Hope you are having a lovely weekend!

Anonymous said...

I loved your remark about not needing a gym membership this winter!! I HATE to shovel really deep snow. I don't mind it if it's just a few inches, but amounts like you all have had would just be horrible. Even with all the exercising I do, my back was killing me after our last big snow. Our driveway is pretty took me about 2 hours to clean it. That was after my hubby had already cleared it the day before with his beast of a snow blower (I don't operate that baby). We had more snow and drifting over the night, so we were back to square one. Anyway, your snowy pictures are amazing!

I loved the Kind Kong gingerbread house....I do recall commenting about it on that post of yours. Glad it was the winner...but they were all great entries.

Yes, I recall the day the shuttle exploded...I was vacuuming our family room and stopped to watch the lift off.....what a horrible sight soon followed. It just doesn't seem possible that 25 years have passed since that day.

Hope you are spared more snow....we're getting ready for some starting Monday.

L , Dana

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

It is amazing all the snow you have gotten and I'm sure you're sick of hearing how pretty it is. I think it was 2 years ago that we broke our record snowfall here.

I can't even watch that video. What a sad, shocking day. I was so sad when the Columbia broke up on descent too.

Donna said...

Oh my, so much snow! My daughter, the one that lives in Brooklyn, was hoping to jog around town this weekend. I doubt whether that will happen!


Sue said...

Hi Pat...all the snow your having is unnatural...LOL.
Daughter sent pictures today from Princeton and in one only her dogs head is sticking out from the was hysterical...on a happier note it hit a high of 71 in Atlanta today....
Oh, have you seen thenew show
"Kitchen Boss" yet?'s on TLC, Buddy from the Cake's a very cute cooking show and ofcourse all the food is Italian....his aunt made manicotti with crepes the other day and I thought of's on every day at 5:30....

Jeanne said...

Hello Pat, WOW, you were dumped on big time. I have shoveled a bit of snow this year too. Beautiful but so much trouble. The photos your friend took are a great reminder of how snow can really pile up.Stay warm my friend.

King Kong was worthy of lots of votes. Amazing and a winner. A good cause as well.

I remember the Challenger disaster well. I lived in Central Florida back then. It was so unbelievable. A terrible loss.

Stay warm and be careful shoveling snow.
Warm hugs, Jeanne

steviewren said...

I can't believe all the snow you guys have had this winter! I hate to say this...but it was a balmy 72 degrees here today. I saw 2 people out in shorts. This is the Alabama January I'm used to...cold yesterday, warm today.

Kristen said...

I don't envy you or anyone back East the weather you have been getting this winter. Hopefully it doesn't mean a ton of flooding in the spring, too.

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Pat,
I've been keeping up with all the mess the snow has made on the news....seems that it has really hit you all very hard to be getting this much media attention.

Always makes me think of you when I see these news clips....hope the next one will miss you!

The day of the Challenger accident is one of those days I'll always remember....we were at school and my second grade class was watching bits and pieces of it.

It was so unbelievable.....I could not believe it had happened. We had a teacher in our building who applied to be the first teacher in space, so it was so sad to all of us.

:) Diane

Kate on Clinton said...

We got hit with over 18" on Clinton Avenue. Crazy, but at least the City snow removal was somewhat better than the previous big storm. One sanit truck even helped Ronnie remove all the snow on the street-side of the car when he was digging out. The corners, especially today with the warming weather, seem to be getting worse.
(P.S. - my one-day DSLR seminar is in two weeks. I'll be sure to blog all about it!)

RNSANE said...

You'll have to model for us to show us your new "post snow" physique! It is amazing how much you've been bombarded with the white stuff. I am glad I didn't plan a New York trip this winter. Of course, I wouldn't like hot, muggy summer, either. Spring or fall sound like a nice time to visit.

aliceinparis said...

Again, great snow pictures.
25 years. Gosh, time scurries along.
I remember watching that, it was numbing to see.

Claudia said...

I am slowly "catching up" and had to comment. New York is just getting socked - it does quiet the city though, doesn't it? I know it's a nightmare - but it does transform New York City. Meanwhile in Minnesota, it's snowing.