So there's been a lot of snow lately. There was one big blizzard that started on Boxing Day and dumped more than a foot of snow on the city. From what I heard on the news and read in the papers, it was a complete disaster. Some streets were unplowed for days, nobody could get anywhere, and several people died. Then there was another storm last week, but that was smaller and the city cleared it up much quicker. This past Wednesday night there was another foot of snow, and so far everyone seems pretty happy with it.
Reading this kind of bullshit makes me feel like I'm living in an alternate universe. I had no real trouble with the first snowfall, because I didn't really go out much. It was the week after Christmas, I was on vacation! Where did I need to go? I went to the supermarket around the corner, and they had plenty of food. I went to the cafe a few blocks away and had a nice panini.
Sure there were huge mounds of snow everywhere, but I've got good boots. There was a dump truck stuck in the middle of my street for several hours, and it took three front-end loaders to pull it free, but people drove on the other streets. The street next to my kid's school was completely blocked with a big snowbank, but that made it a lot safer for the kids to cross. After a day or two, the sidewalks and crosswalks were shoveled, the trains and buses were running, and we could all get around the city.
Okay, so I was on vacation, but a guy I know in the neighborhood had no trouble either. He had one customer across the street, another two blocks away, and a third around the corner. That's the value of working locally. Some other neighbors worked from home via the internet, and others just got the day off. Nobody had to go into Manhattan, or anywhere else, on December 27, and not too many people really had to go in on the 28th either.
Now obviously some people needed to go to the hospital, couldn't get help and died. That's a real shame and a problem, and we shouldn't minimize it. People were stranded for hours on subway trains, really locked in without a chance to get off and walk somewhere, and that's not good at all. As far as I'm concerned, those were the only two serious problems that resulted from the government's handling of the snow situation, and what we needed to do was focus on how to avoid those problems in the future. But that wasn't the focus in the City Council or in the media.
I was mildly amused at first to see reporters like Greg Mocker wailing about the streets that weren't plowed, and it was kind of fun to listen to that amateur cameraman hyperventilating as he watched a City tractor demolish a City-owned SUV that some bureaucrat had unnecessarily left parked on a Brooklyn Heights side street. But all that got old really quick, and I started feeling pretty annoyed hearing City Council members like David "Kvetch" Greenfield working themselves into a lather over which side street got plowed when.
Still, I was only annoyed. But then I started to get angry, and now I'm seriously pissed. I'll tell you why in my next post, but some of you may already know, because you're feeling the same way.