Tag Archives: Snow Storm

NYC’s Magical Snow Day

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Johna Till Johnson and Vladimir Brezina

Johna exploring a snow fort in Central Park (photo by Vlad)

By rights, New York City should still be digging out from the blizzard that was to be “historic, catastrophic”—except that it wasn’t.

The storm was predicted to bury New York in up to thirty inches of snow. In anticipation, the Mayor and the Governor declared a state of emergency, shut down the subway system, and banned all vehicles (including taxis and delivery bicycles) on the grounds that stalled vehicles would impede emergency efforts.

And then the blizzard didn’t happen. True, Long Island got a couple of feet of snow. And coastal New England, including Boston, got hammered.

But here in New York, we awoke to a mere eight inches of snow in Central Park… and a government-mandated, universally observed, snow day.

It was great!

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Splashes of Color

By Vladimir Brezina

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NYC’s Central Park, during yesterday’s snowstorm…

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First Snow

By Vladimir Brezina

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It’s snowing! The first real snow of the winter. Quick, everyone out into the park before it melts!

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In Central Park, NYC, yesterday.

A Magical Maiden Voyage

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

“This will be your best circumnav ever,” said Randy, smiling.

I smiled back, a bit dubiously.

Randy’s a friend and the owner of the New York Kayak Company.  I’d just bought a new kayak from him—a red-and-black-and-white Tiderace Xplore-S Carbon Pro, a long, lean, lightweight boat designed for expedition sea kayaking.

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I loved the new boat—which I promptly named Solstice—but I was feeling a bit squeamish about taking her for a maiden voyage on a Manhattan circumnavigation. It’s always a bit tricky paddling a new boat, particularly one that handles considerably differently than your previous one.

Solstice is a good 15 inches longer than Photon, my old Valley Avocet, and an inch or two narrower.  That design makes for a boat that’s faster and more powerful, but also potentially harder to control. And although circumnavigating Manhattan isn’t an inherently challenging proposition, there are some tricky bits, even in calm conditions.

The  swirling eddies at Hell Gate can almost always be counted on to provide some excitement, for instance, as can the ferries at the Battery (and their wakes).  Being unable to handle your boat  in such situations is not a good thing—even less so in winter, when a capsize can lead to hypothermia, even if the rescue or self-rescue is effective. So taking a brand-new boat out for a 6-hour trip seemed, under the circumstances, slightly risky.

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In the water for the first time!

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A longer, narrower boat…

But Randy’s confidence was contagious, and I tried my best to shelve the worries.  And as Vlad and I launched a bit later that day, we were both looking forward to the outing, our first longer paddle in the NYC area since before Hurricane Sandy.  I hoped Randy was right.

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First strokes

I had no idea how right he’d turn out to be. The trip was… well, “magical” is the best way I can describe it. Or maybe “enchanted”…

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Playing in the Snow

By Vladimir Brezina

DSC_0795 cropped smallWhat a difference a day makes!

The morning after the snowstorm, we came out into Central Park to find thousands of people playing in the snow and sunshine.





And I took a thousand photos. I am still sorting them out, but here are a few good ones—

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By Vladimir Brezina

Yesterday at dusk, just as the heaviest snow started to come down in NYC, we ventured out into Central Park—

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(More photos are here.)

Now, the next morning, the storm is over and the sun is peeking out. Time to go back into the park for a few more shots!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Urban.

Two views down the street…

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Trees, Surprised by Winter

By Vladimir Brezina

The snowstorm that came through New York City a couple of days ago wasn’t much as winter storms go. But it was so early—it’s nowhere near winter yet! New York City has had measurable snow in October only three times previously since records began in 1869, and this storm, dropping 2.9 inches in Central Park, set a new record by far.

The trees weren’t ready. They still had almost all their leaves—the fall colors haven’t even peaked yet in Central Park!—and the weight of the snow accumulating in the foliage brought down branches and whole trees everywhere.

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A Walk in the Park

By Vladimir Brezina



More photos from both days to come. (Update, November 18, 2011: they are here.)