Nina In New York: Now Is The Winter Of Our Municipal Conveniences
A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
By Nina Pajak
Oh Spring, you nasty tease. You were here! We totally saw you peeking around the corner. And then you ran away and left the door open behind you and let that a-hole Polar Vortex back in. Get back here and answer for yourself.
I’m not sure we can take much more of this. And it’s not because I’m cold. It’s because it turns out the world around me essentially shuts down when the weather is terrible. Spending so many years in Manhattan, I had no idea this could happen. Why should I? It’s the city that never sleeps, and also the city whose infrastructure and government-run services are almost never disrupted.
Not so in the borough of Queens. We’re like the city’s sleepier, lazier sister who’s all, “eh, it’s snowing, I’ll do it later. Quit hogging the blanket.”
Here is a quick list of the things that are not happening in our neck of the woods when the chips are down, and covered in ice.
Plowing. Yeah, that’s right. That thing that happens in some places when snow falls and sticks to the ground, because people are generally under the assumption that despite the fact that it’s winter, citizens will continue to go to work and visit family and find other reasons to leave their abodes between January and April. Some main roads have been plowed, of course, but our neighborhood has little private roads where people do dumb things like drive their cars and walk their babies. So those have been left for scientific and sociological observation to see what happens if you completely neglect a street during multiple consecutive blizzards and ice storms. See also: shoveling, salting, sanding.
Recycling collection. At this point, I am quite certain that the cardboard boxes people continue to dutifully put out each week have molecularly bonded with the snow, creating a sort of sub-shanty town of ice forts down my street. It sounds sort of awesome, but in fact it’s really quite filthy looking. I figure when people begin moving into them, it’ll be time to call the city.
Newspaper delivery. Ooh, fancy pants. You like to read the newspaper for which you pay a weekly fee even when it’s snowing? Well la di da.
Mail. Yes, even the mail has taken a bye. You know how the old saying goes:
snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. Oh, what. First the newspaper, now your magazines and letters and bills, too? Listen, everyone knows no one gets anything important in the mail anymore anyway. It can wait.”
BUT THE POTTERY BARN KIDS COUPON WILL HAVE EXPIRED BY THEN, POSTAL WORKER! And what of my Us Weekly? WHAT OF IT?
I guess we’re just high and dry until the spring thaw. If anyone needs me, send me a Morse code message via a series of blinking lights across Queens County. Or, you know, an email.
Nina Pajak is a writer living with her husband, daughter and dog in Queens. Connect with Nina on Twitter!