On a whim…

Life without whimsy is not much of a life at all; without it, a walk in the dark is no laughing matter.

“Top This”

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Cars Buried By the Blizzard of 2003, Third Street, Park Slope, BrooklynThe Blizzard of 2003, Seventh Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn This week I contribute an article to our corporate newsletter. The feature is called “Top This” wherein we, the road savvy technology savants, relate our encounters with peril and pleasure of unexpected dimensions. Presumably each posting will be a challenge to our gaggle of consultants to out do the last contributor.

This reminds me of efforts to challenge my neighbor to a game of “HORSE” with a basketball in the side yard. I, the infallibly un-gifted player, would be assigned a letter from the word “horse” for each time I failed match a feat performed by my him with the ball and hoop. Once in a while I could pull off a three point shot from a distance roughly the same as center court to keep from falling farther behind but I consistently failed to achieve even a semblance of a layup. Consequently I became the first, and usually only, player to reach the humiliating rank of ‘hor…’ (a fate worse than simply losing) while my competitors toyed with ‘h….’ or no letter at all.

In this context I consider the challenge; Who can top the tornado filled twilight of Dave’s (the previous contributor) recent Memphis trip? To recount sufferings such as my series of sweltering sojourns on the unbiquitously unpleasnant United Airlines would hardly measure up!

So, rather than trivialize my misery, I offer my best adventure to date; A snowy trip to mid-town Manhattan . I flew in from New Hampshire on the Sunday night before classes were to start. As my cab crossed the Tri-Borough bridge from Queens a snow flake struck the wind shield. Considering my good fortune I commented to the driver that had I booked a later flight I probably would have been canceled.

By the time I reached my hotel a light but steady snow was falling and I enjoyed looking from my hotel room window. The room was, surprisingly, graced with a balcony and I stepped out to watch the snow. Beautiful.

After dinner I pulled the shades, read for a while, and eventually fell asleep. Near dawn I got up and prepared for the day. Only after I dressed and gathered my gear did I open the shades again. The balcony was buried in three feet of snow.

Standing on a chair to get a better view I could see Madison Avenue to my right  as empty as if it were an unplowed drive providing access to a remote vacation cabin in the Great North Woods. For some reason I had carried boots with me and changing into them I headed straight out to the streets. I made the hike to Time Square and stood at the center of that triangle looking more alone than a survivor of a post apocalyptic world. Nothing, no one moved. For an hour or so I traveled through various neighborhoods past city landmarks where even as late as 10 o’clock in the morning there were only a handful of pedestrians. The city was shut down.

A bagel vendor near the hotel walked across the Brooklyn bridge to get to his shop and were it not for him I would have been pretty hungry. The hotel lacked a restaurant and their delivery service didn’t deliver. By dinner I was on my third trip to the bagle shop and loving it.

I had no camera with me, a mistake I have not repeated, or I would have some relics of the trip. As it is, I have my memories… not bad fare at that.

Written by David Wilkerson

18 March 2008 at 3:11 pm

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