New Yorkers Don’t Quit

<em>Light underground © Grace Cavallo</em>

Light underground © Grace Cavallo

I don’t often come through this subway station but the trains run wonky on weekends and I discovered (too late) that my normal train wasn’t running. It’s a long walk underground to connect with the in-service train, and I was pissed that I had to transfer and that it was making me late. As a New Yorker, subways are a huge part of my day-to-day, for better or worse. I don’t need no stinking Uber when I got an unlimited MetroCard!

I was barreling through, weaving my way in and out of slowpokes and mumbling under my breath about “Sunday drivers” as I came upon this seen. I am a sucker for light streaming in through unusual (or usual) places. I knew I was late, but how long does it really take to get my camera out, turn it on, and snap a picture? As I stood there weighing my options, clock ticking, slowpokes passing me by, I decide an extra 10 seconds is not gonna kill me. However, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, might.

I am not heading to the 23rd and 6th Avenue station today, even though I am almost out of eggs and plantain chips from Trader Joe’s. Besides Trader Joe’s, there is a Home Depot, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Harmon’s, the gym where I take yoga classes, and my camera shop. It is my spot—I am there more often than I care to admit. In fact, my #TodayinNY of the Siegel-Cooper building, which houses Bed, Bath, and Beyond was taken from there just this week. I found a wallet on the corner of 23rd and 7th Avenue a few weeks ago. I was able to return it to the rightful owner who was super-grateful, even though it had no money in it (I kept apologizing and saying, I swear, I am a good person and I found it that way). If I have to choose what street to walk down when I’m there I will always choose 23rd Street—it’s a main thoroughfare and it’s always full of people, no matter the time of day.

No, I’m not headed there today because I can’t—it’s CLOSED because some asshole decided to detonate a bomb there yesterday, and another one a few blocks away (that didn’t go off). Although 29 people were injured, it could have been much worse—as all reports indicate that the bombs “were built for carnage.” I can’t predict there will not be a homemade bomb the next time I do my food shopping, as much as I can’t predict an anvil won’t fall on my head as I’m walking down the street. Life is a crapshoot and I, along with my fellow New Yorkers, will continue to live it to the best of our ability #youlose #onward #TodayinNY

Jonas

Central Park, Winter Storm Jonas

© Grace Cavallo

The first snowfall of 2016 and I am happy to report that after spending most of my life in New York City, I finally shot the lock off my wallet and invested in a proper pair of snow boots—not rigged up rain boot/construction boot/random leather boot concoctions.

Central Park, Winter Storm Jonas

© Grace Cavallo

Central Park, Winter Storm Jonas

© Grace Cavallo

To be honest, my sister bought them for me as a Christmas gift (per my request). This was way back in December, by the way, when temperatures were averaging in the balmy 60s and 70s (!), so my lovely boots sat forgotten in their box at the back of my closet.That is, until news of an impending blizzard started making the rounds on the news. There were conflicting reports about the intensity of the storm, but as it came closer, it was clear that it would hit big.

Central Park, Winter Storm Jonas

© Grace Cavallo

Central Park, Winter Storm Jonas

© Grace Cavallo

By the time Saturday morning rolled around, the wind was howling and it looked like a snow globe outside. And while I have to admit there’s something romantic about being stuck at home with nothing more than reading to catch up on and Netflix to watch while a violent snowstorm rages outside, I knew I needed to get out for my #TodayinNY picture-a-day series.

Central Park, Winter Storm Jonas

© Grace Cavallo

5th Avenue, New York City, Winter Storm Jonas

© Grace Cavallo

5th Avenue, New York City, Winter Storm Jonas

© Grace Cavallo

And even though I love doing it (most of the time) let me tell ya, the shit ain’t easy—rain, sleet, snow, blizzard—the TodayinNY show must go on! Needless to say, I was not looking forward to leaving the comfort of my couch. But the thought of zipping on my new snow boots was also kind of exciting! So I bundled myself up and rallied to get to Central Park for a quick photo shoot.No sooner did I leave the house that I began to regret it. The wind was whipping violently and snow was pelting me in the face. The snow was up to my knees in spots and it felt like walking through quicksand. There weren’t many cars on the road but the few I did see were mostly spinning their wheels and going nowhere.

Central Park, Winter Storm Jonas

© Grace Cavallo

59th Street, New York City, Winter Storm Jonas

© Grace Cavallo

The steps leading down to the subway were slippery and covered in snow and it was a wonder I made it to the park without eating it. I emerged from the N train at the corner of 59th Street and 5th Avenue. The plan was to quickly descend the steps of the park to the pond across from the Plaza Hotel and take a quick picture.

The Plaza Hotel, New York City, Winter Storm Jonas

This guy looked like he knew what he was doing, sort of © Grace Cavallo

The Plaza Hotel, New York City, Winter Storm Jonas

© Grace Cavallo

59th Street, New York City, Winter Storm Jonas

© Grace Cavallo

Easier said than done.It was whiteout conditions and the wind gusts practically knocked me over. The wet snow made its way into every crevice and although I had a cover for my camera, it was a struggle keeping the lens dry long enough to get a decent picture.

Waiting patiently © Grace Cavallo

Queens, New York, Winter Storm Jonas

© Grace Cavallo

Queens, New York, Winter Storm Jonas

© Grace Cavallo

There were a handful of people milling around, mostly tourists eager to see what the big storm was all about. But I think we all soon realized being outdoors was probably not the brightest decision. So I put it in gear, got my pictures, and hightailed it home.

And even though I risked life and limb for these damn pictures during the second biggest snowstorm in New York history, it was kinda fun. And by the way, my feet were toasty and dry and super happy.

Sasquatch

Sasquatch © Grace Cavallo

Sparrows bathing in the snow

Sparrows bathing in the snow © Grace Cavallo

New York, A Love Story

Who the heck goes to the dentist at the Helmsley Building? A New Yorker does, that’s who.

I went with my aunt to her dentist appointment on a gorgeous day in New York—one of those rare but beautiful summer days: 80 degrees, sunny, dry, breezy. My aunt is 87 and doesn’t get around so easily anymore, so I go with her to appointments and help with errands. It seemed like the whole world was out and I couldn’t help thinking how I often run around this city mindlessly trying to get from one place to the next, barely stopping to catch my breath while elbowing people out of my way. But then there are days like this when I slow down and take it all in (that, plus my aunt can’t walk so fast).

And then it hits me: I LIVE IN NEW YORK CITY. New Yorkers have appointments with their dentists in the Helmsley Building. Actually, my dentist is on Central Park South, where I drool overlooking the treetops while my teeth are flossed and polished. I walk past The Plaza Hotel and the Essex House on my way there and breathe in the smell of horse shit from the carriages that cart tourists around the park. Sometimes I’ll treat myself afterwards to a quiche at Bouchon Bakery in the Time Warner Center down the street. And then I’ll meander through the park or just hop on the subway home. Technically, I suppose I am bridge and tunnel now that I live in Long Island City, but I’ve been in and around this city long enough to have earned my NYC badge.

View of Central Park from Dr. Farrington's office

View of Central Park from Dr. Farrington’s office

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