West Coast snow is different from East Coast snow.

When you crave snow in the SF Bay Area, for example, you usually have to drive about 3-4 hours to Lake Tahoe on the border of Nevada to see it.  Once every 10 years, if they are lucky, a little snow might drop on the top of Mt. Tam or Mt. Shasta. But mostly it’s about packing into a large, gas guzzling vehicle on Friday late afternoon hoping to make it there by bed time.

In New York, snow is part of the cycle of life, part of the seasons. First come the cold days as we rush to buy the best possible scarf, mittens and hat.  Then one day, out of the corner of our eye (perhaps on a taxi news show) the weather person says “rain…and maybe snow.”  The news gets out quick and a unique excitement sets in.

The first snow tends to be light and magical, carpeting over everything. For many this is associated with happy, magical, cozy and warm feelings.  You start to see and hear about people heating up apple cider, cocoa and mulled wine.  For some the arrival of snow also comes with the feeling of angst.

Snow in a big city is an interesting experience.  The first and only time I experienced a first snow in a city was in New York in 2002.  Luckily I had not heard any news report about it nor had anyone told me about it. So when I woke up at a friend’s place and she casually pulled back the curtain to reveal that everything outside was white, I sat there in awe and did not move from my window for quite some time.   I couldn’t believe that the snow just came to me. 

What was your “first city snow” like for you, whether NY or another city in a cold part of the world?

Finally, I’m actually a bit embarassed to show this clip because of it’s obvious 50’s elitism context, but here is a scene from White Christmas which is one of the more charming (and cheesy) scenes I’ve ever found about the topic of SNOW!


4 Responses to “Snow”

  1. 🙂 i love snow! when get around to visiting my mother i love to pull out the family photo album and see photos of when i was pre-school and all bundled up out in the snow in front of our house (queens) and it was over my head. the happiness i see on my face in the photo is still connected down the long path that leads to the love that is in my heart now. i look forward to sharing this year’s snow with you scott.

  2. fractalbridge Says:

    i’m honored to share it with you, ernest! i get the sense that you will help me to discover what the magic of snow is all about here on the east coast!
    by the way, that happiness still seems to be on your face…

  3. i was born in the snow. not literally, but i was born on jan 15, 1944, in pelham manor, new york. i loved the snow. i played in it. that first full covering IS magical. everything is covered and sounds are all muted. it’s as if all the ugliness and problems are wiped away and you get another chance at fun and happiness. everyone’s mood is changed. everyone seems happier.

  4. fractalbridge Says:

    it’s fun to think about what it was like to experience the snow in other decades! in fact, from the looks of it i’d say the clip i chose from white christmas looks like the 40’s, too! i can just imagine it from your description. thank you. oh, and by the way thanks also for giving birth to me, mom!

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