The first day of spring was yesterday. It was cold, windy and generally miserable. Today isn’t so different. In honor of spring’s horrible two-day start, I thought it might be appropriate to share this video of the cold and snowy Brighton Beach winter captured by alekseyfedorov on YouTube.
His video contrasts the sad, frozen landscape of Brighton Beach with beautiful images of soaring birds, frolicking snow lovers and pretty icicles hanging off rocks by the beach. Good stuff Aleksey.
There was a time when I enjoyed snow and snowy days. There used to be a thrill in getting off from school, or work, and then adventuring out into the fluffy white stuff and frolicking around.
Those days are gone for me. I hate the winter and its frozen air, shutting us in our homes and whipping our faces with cold when we try and walk around outside. Sadly, it looks like we are about to get a big dose of winter this weekend, as Nemo blows into town.
According to the Weather Channel, Nemo could be a storm of historic proportions. I think I speak for about eight million people when I say this city has had its fill of historic storms recently and the promise of a new one does nothing but fill me gloom.
On the bright side, barring a miscalculation from the weather experts, Nemo will hit hardest in New England, burying Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine with two to three feet of snow while New York will only be dealing with about a half a foot of snow; annoying, but manageable.
So, just in case we get a taste of what is expected to be dumped on New England, it might be a good time to stock on groceries, reassess any serious weekend traveling and prepare for potential power outages caused by high speed damaging winds.
The weather has been crazy lately. Yesterday, it was almost 60 degrees. Just a few days ago, we were enjoying the slightly cooler pleasures of 10 degree weather. Our buddy and Jamaica Bay Lives documentary filmmaker Dan Hendrick tweeted us this incredible photo of Jamaica Bay frozen over near completely. Dan let us know that the Bay has not been this frozen in years. Pretty incredible; thanks for the great photo, Dan.
When it snows every year, we LOVE when our readers send us pictures of the neighborhood covered in all that fun white fluffy stuff. Well, last weekend it snowed, barely, and the lovely Katherine V. was the only one who sent in a picture documenting the unforgettable events of “Blizzard ’13.”
I love this scrappy little snowman. He is filled with all the emotion that Mother Nature’s recent light dusting was capable of mustering. The only thing he needs is a name…any ideas?
Ice skating is one of the most romantic activities in New York City, at least according to all the TV shows and movies. Because of this, you can be damned sure that hipsters of all stripes will be eager to hit the rinks when air freezes in a month or two. Sadly, they’ll have to trek far outside the comfort zones of their favorite neighborhoods to do so.
According to the Village Voice, plans to open up all of Brooklyn’s ice rinks have been delayed this year, leaving only Southern Brooklyn locations for the borough’s 2.5 million residents.
On the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, plans to convert the recently opened McCarren Park Pool into a skating rink fell through due to a missed September deadline caused by limited cash flow (what, no trust fund?).
With their own neighborhood offering no ice, desperate romantics of North Brooklyn would most likely try to flock to Prospect Park’s rinks, but would quickly discover that the massive $74 million dollar Lakeside Project has temporarily closed those rinks down this winter as well.
With the trendiest spots unavailable, a premium will be put on the touristy rinks of Central Park. And, really, if you flew all the way here from some cow-town just so you could say, “Like, yah, I’m from Brooklyn,” would you go skating in Manhattan’s Central Park?
That just leaves the rinks we have down here, the Aviator Sports & Events Center at 3159 Flatbush Avenue, and the Abe Stark Rink at Coney Island Boardwalk and West 19th Street. Locals, look out.
If your family is worried about your ability to pay your heating bills as temperatures drop, you may be eligible for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), a federally-funded program that issues heating benefits to supplement a household’s annual energy cost.
HEAP offers two tiers of benefits to New York’s working families: a regular stipend for lower-income folks in need of assistance, or an emergency benefit for those stuck in specific, short-term circumstances.
If this year’s winter was anything like last year’s (Oy! Please, let it not be…), and the economy continues to suck pond water, then it’s a pretty safe bet that some of our less fortunate members of humanity will need a winter coat to help keep them warm.
New York Cares is kicking off the New York Cares Coat Drive, starting today, November 15, through December 31. From a press release they sent us:
Keep New Yorkers warm by signing-up to host a coat collection during this year’s New York Cares Coat Drive, which begins taking coats on November 15, 2011. Each winter, thousands of New Yorkers are forced to choose between buying a warm coat and putting food on the table, heating their homes, or meeting other basic survival needs. That’s why for the last 23 years, New York Cares has collected new and used winter coats each holiday season, and distributed them to men, women and children who would otherwise go cold. Health Plus is the Presenting Sponsor of the Coat Drive.
There is no reason why a person should have to choose between warmth and a hot meal. It doesn’t take but a few minutes to go through your closets and pick out old or barely used winter coats, which can be put to much better use when donated to a person in need.
Councilman Michael Nelson is kicking off his annual donation drive for warm clothing to distribute to needy children this year, and is asking residents to contribute.
The councilman is seeking new hats, scarves and gloves to give to the children of P.S. 811K, a special school for children facing serious challenges.
Nelson has delivered approximately 500 items of clothing each year since he began it five years ago.
“In these cold winter months, it is critical for children of all ages to dress warmly,” said Nelson. “However, for many, that is simply not possible. Fortunately, due to the efforts of so many benevolent individuals in the community who so wholeheartedly will donate these clothing items and continue to do so every year, we will be able to provide the children with the necessities they need to stay warm and healthy this winter.”
Nelson’s office will be collecting the new hats, scarves and gloves until Thursday, December 16, and will deliver the items to the children at P.S. 811K on December 17. If you want to contribute, drop off the items at the councilman’s District Office at 1605 Voorhies Avenue, or call Mary Scarfogliero at (718) 368-9176.
With the weather getting a bit nippy, it’s time to remind landlords and their tenants that “Heat Season” began on Friday, October 1. That means if you’re a tenant, you’re entitled to a warm, well-heated dwelling – and if you’re landlord ain’t shelling out for it, you better take some steps to secure your rights.
Heat Season runs between October 1 and May 31, and building owners are required to provide tenants with heat under the following conditions:
Between the hours of 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM, if the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees, the inside temperature is required to be at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit; and,
Between the hours of 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM, if the temperature outside falls below 40 degrees, the inside temperature is required to be at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tenants who are cold in their apartments should first attempt to notify the building owner, managing agent or superintendent. If heat is not restored, the tenant should call the City’s Citizen Service Center at 311 (311 can be accessed outside of New York City by dialing (212) NEW YORK). For the hearing impaired, the TTY number is (212) 504-4115. The Center is open 24-hours a day, seven-days a week.
If a building owner fails to provide heat and hot water during the winter or has a serious history of flagrantly disregarding obligations to provide service to tenants, Housing Preservation and Development’s Housing Litigation Division (HLD) may sue the building owner in Housing Court.
This weather, this season – it brings me no joy. I’m a Grinch.
No, I don’t look out the window and say, “Ooh-la-la, it’s so pretty.” The first glittery flakes tumbling from the sky don’t fill me with awe. It doesn’t make me pine for that childhood innocence, running out and making snow angels or any of that crud.
It just makes me shiver. And it makes my feet wet.