When your feelings of being in a Winter Wonderland where you are either happily building a Snowman or having a Snowball fight or catching Snowflakes on your tongue or strolling through Manhattan sipping Hot Chocolate or just trying to feast your eyes on the gorgeous white canopy of snow placed over the entire city wears off, it’s quite a daunting task to face winter in NYC especially if you are from a tropical country.
The firsts are always special. If the 1st Snowfall experience left me all wonderstruck, the 1st Snowstorm experience left me dumbstruck. But before getting into that, I would want you guys to meet my co-protagonist in this story- THE UMBRELLA. Since I don’t have a pic of my Umbrella with me now, you guys have to make do with this.
Now, I am very very possessive about this Umbrella, so do not make fun of it. This isn’t just a regular Umbrella, but a transparent one that I fell in love with at first sight on spotting it at Macy’s. It’s transparency & Deep Dome shape has helped me manoeuvre the NYC streets very easily during the rainy days & also when it snowed, when I didn’t get drenched in the process of lifting my Umbrella to see where I was going. And this Umbrella has got me compliments from random people on the streets for selecting such a fine specimen, ha ha.
My 1st Snowstorm experience was of the ‘Grayson’ Snowstorm, which not only happened to be the first Snowstorm of the year 2018 but was also termed as the ‘Bomb Cyclone’. Great!! Since I was in NYC from quite a few months I had got accustomed to the low temperatures, even not complaining when it reached -5°C in mid December. And though I was cautious after the repeated warnings from News portals online & my mother offline, I wasn’t that worried about the upcoming Snowstorm.
So on Jan 4th, after my work I found myself heading to SOHO since I was craving ‘Georgetown Cupcake‘ bakery’s cupcakes. Armed with my Umbrella I walked out of the station, noticing then that the wind was blowing quite fiercely & I was finding it a little difficult to balance my Umbrella. And as luck would have it, the bakery had run out of my favourite flavour. Feeling dejected when I was walking back to the station, I noticed 2 things… 1st was that I was now finding it difficult to even hold onto my Umbrella & the 2nd was that I was the only pedestrian there to be holding an Umbrella over her head.
By then I had reached the BROADWAY STREET, where the winds didn’t had that many obstacles to break their speed as they had on the narrow streets of SOHO. As I stood there at the crosswalk still trying to balance my Umbrella, it felt as if it took forever for the signal to turn green. Finally when it did & I was crossing the road, the wind speed picked up even more & showed it’s mightiness by trying to drag me through my Umbrella whose deep dome shape didn’t help the matter either. I knew then that I should let the Umbrella go but since I had a deep-seated love for it I still held onto it with all my strength.
Even now I don’t know if it was just my imagination, but for a few seconds at least I felt that the Gravity was holding onto me by threads & that any moment now I would get blown away in the wind along with my Umbrella. And just when I felt as if that moment had arrived, I felt someone grabbing me & helping me to the sidewalk. But in that hurry of trying to close the Umbrella, my fingers got stuck in it’s ribs. If I didn’t had any manners left I would have danced then & there from pain.
And so as I was still struggling with my co-protagonist (the Umbrella) who by that time had turned into the main Antagonist, the person who had dragged me to safety took hold of it & closed it smoothly. He then turned to me to ask if I was alright? with the lights from the shops on the streets illuminating him, I noticed his face for the first time & realized that he not only looked like one of those models who’s pics you see in SOHO‘s windows, but he also had a deep baritone voice. On not getting an answer, he asked me again, this time with more concern in his voice probably from thinking that I must have hit my head with my Umbrella, I quickly replied that I was fine & after thanking him profusely I bolted from there, this time of course with my Umbrella closed, but after about 20 paces I realized that I was walking in the wrong direction, so quickly turning around I managed to reach the station uneventfully.
And so, the lesson learnt is NEVER EVER USE AN UMBRELLA IN A SNOWSTORM.The scenario that day in Midtown Manhattan.
That night when I was browsing online to know more about the Snowstorm ‘Grayson’, Google told me that the temperatures that day had reached as low as -11°C, with over 11 to 13 inches of snow in various parts of NYC & the wind speed was of 50 mph. Whew!!! Later that night after agreeing to my parents request of not to venture outside for the next 2 days, I snuggled into the bed cosily when my eyes fell on the Umbrella perched against the wall in the corner, which (courtesy my over imaginative brain) appeared to wink at me.