The first year I lived in Brooklyn, I had only been working in my job for six weeks or so when the holidays arrived. Because I didn’t have any vacation time to use, I had to fly back from St. Louis to New York City on Christmas day. I remember schlepping my luggage from the airport to the subway, trying to leverage suitcases and backpack through subway turnstiles, up steps and down long Brooklyn blocks.
Those were the less romantic days of life in New York – the days when cab fare wasn’t possible, and hard work was the only way I was going to get from Point A to Point B.
That was one of the loneliest Christmases I can remember. My roommates were all at home with their families, so my apartment was cold and quiet. When I arrived at work the next morning, I had the building almost entirely to myself.
When I heard news yesterday that all of the airports in the greater New York City area were shutting down for 24-48 hours, I was indescribably relieved that I wasn’t one of the many people stranded in a cold, lonely airport terminal. Reading this blog post in the New York Times’ “City Room” about stranded subway trains, made me even more glad (if that’s even possible) that I’m in Missouri with it’s pleasant little dusting of snow.
In the two years since I left New York, this might be the very first time when, in the deepest, darkest parts of my heart, I’m truly glad I’m not there. I hope my friends in New York brought home well-stocked pantries in their little apartments, and that they’re able to hole up inside until the roads are cleared and the subways begin running smoothly again.
In the meantime, I’m going to appreciate my dry, snowless drive to work today a little bit more than usual.