Snow flakes of every shape and size covered my vision to one blur of a silent night. I stood in the middle of the harbor, cold, yet awakened; quiet while rejoicing, and peaceful with a touch of luck, waiting for my water journey home.
It started out as a simple snow storm, yet nothing is simple when broken down to stopped traffic , delayed subways, and train stations dampened with soggy floors from swift moving goulashes covering fine, Italian leather oxfords. How odd, for a city so well prepared for multi-billion trades and mergers to simply close it‘s doors, how unique for a city that can transport you from The Bowery to Harlem with a 30 minute taxi toll that can compare to any heart stopping amusement ride, to hours of walking in the middle of the street with not a car in sight and how magical of a city to cover itself in white when nature tells it to.
All I have now is a glimpse into a rare invitation from God, to one beautiful must attend wintry storm.
Always loving a constructive interruption to break up the work week, especially, one that requires a little adventure as my New Jersey commute in itself was; a ten minute drive at one in the morning for a cup of coffee with friends in SoHo, to a good two hour plus journey alone in a crowd during the rush a few hours later.
I took on the challenge like a kid on snow day.
Outfitted with the knowledge of layering for the cold, and the fashion sense of a design school dropout, my thick Australian Outback oiled Coat, a vintage Ralph Lauren cashmere shawl, one old , but sturdy Stetson brimmed cowboy hat, and waterproof riding boots were put to real use, and with a need to further explore, I slipped into my pocket an adult sense of credit card foolishness, to be spent on an impromptu stay at a fine hotel if needed. Leaving my indoor world behind.
Due to commuters staying indoors and getting by with their view from a TV, my choice of many empty seats on the last bus into the city was supported by an effortless stream of empty road connecting me swiftly.
Work ended upon arrival, and from that point, my adventure began as I stepped out of the revolving doors into a wonderland of white covered everything, while the city slowly went back to sleep.
59th Street and Fifth was a magnificent place to absorb all the beauty of New York and as I got my hot drink, I walked into a small corner of central park to embrace what was deemed to be the worse storm in years. Peaceful yet blustery with swirling snow all around, being out on the outer edges of the park, I sipped hot and sweet and ventured deeper into more white. I was alone, full well knowing that I could only linger in this solitude for just a short time.
Going home from this point on became the beginning of my journey back.
Choosing my footprints carefully I picked the last ferry ride from the South Street Seaport leaving with an evening departure time, allowing me to play a part in the contrast of mother nature’s fury and a city’s covered brick and steel structures fighting to melt it all away.
I decided to walk the distance, having the day at my disposal and a lifetime to recall.
Devoid of taxis, cars, and busses, down Fifth, a Village lunch, through SOHO art, and then the Bowery to Wall Street sound simple enough, but time stands still, in the bricks and pavers of those winding alleys and streets, where you just don’t know how far back in time you have really ventured.
Like knee deep confetti on a spring day of downtown celebration, the storm had given way to remembering all who have traveled through these silent streets and I felt privileged, then, as I do now to have used the World Trade Towers as my guide. Stopping to warm up wherever I could my soul spent the day in a transported state of feeling safe and protected, and most of all, living every brisk, highlighted minute to its fullest.
The city now empty and the day ending early, I made my way to the sparkling snow under the few lights that illuminate the wooden dock where the sky and water turn into a deep indigo blue, but today … blended with a glistening layer of dancing snow.
Crunching sounds underneath the almost knee deep drifted paths, I listened for the ferry, I looked for other footprints, I waited for any movement, even a surprise from behind, but there was only the sound of gentle snowflakes landing on my shoulders and the brim of my hat.
Alone…I thought about forever being frozen in time, inside this snow globe of constant motion.
Standing, now with cold feet in the middle of this spectacle, with my back to the bay, I focused into the faded skyline. I was humbled and privileged to experience the huge city in silence, the soft falling snow all around me and the feeling of being enveloped by the seamless dark of nature’s finest elements. Closing my eyes for a moment, thanking myself for making the journey here, I believed that every thing that happened today was a precious gift of life.
The package now open, the gift was given to me, and all I wanted was to be in this place forever, feeling so alive while immersed in this great universe, and as small as I may be, I felt as unique as every snowflake falling.
The ships bell broke the silence and It floated me away slowly on stormy waters, getting warmed, going home. Leaving the solitude behind as the city disappeared I lingered to embrace my experience, and secured a spot in my soul of this magical journey, so I can always get back to my wintry, and magical, silent night of many snowflakes.