The snow fell, and the park by the river by my apartment became a completely different place.
Even in a big city like New York, nature always wins. We saw it in a big way last year, and we see it in myriad small ways throughout the seasons - in the weeds that sprout where they're not meant to be, in the tree leaves that dance through the streets when the wind blows, and in the snow that falls thick and deep, carpeting the paths that people walk.
I spend a lot of time by this river. It's the Kiwi in me - I'm drawn to the water, regardless of where I am. The Hudson is a far cry from the East Coast Bays of Auckland, where I grew up, but it's as good as it gets here, and it's a perfectly serviceable stand-in. On this day, apart from a few intrepid dogs and their walkers, all was as quiet as the snow - a distinct change from the usual activity down there. I'm not the only one who feels the need to be close to the water.
And then, further along the path, a little way up the bank, mayhem. Children shrieked and squealed and threw themselves headfirst and feetfirst and flailing arms first down the hill, slipping and sliding on every different type of sled you can imagine, as long as you imagine many artificially-bright pieces of plastic. Santa's sled these were not.
H1 and I stood and watched for a while, and although it was undeniably hilarious, we took no photos. Taking photos of other people's kids is a pretty big no-no in New York. When we grew cold, and bored, we turned and trudged home, seeing the snow already crumbled and dirty in the gutters.
It melted that day, and the next and the next, and now the only evidence that it was ever there remains in small mounds of ice, filthy and black and mysteriously still frozen, despite many days of above-freezing temperatures since. For one perfect day, though, New York got its snow blanket, the white that temporarily erases the grub.