Thinking in the Manhattan snow
Snow scene in big city seems so gentle to me, while I feel desolation or
severity for snow in countryside. "The city and me seem to be more
intimate in snow" Is it special feeling only to me? The scene, the
people and the things happen on a snowy day, why is it strongly impressed
in my mind? I don't have the experience living in snowy area. So those
are a kind of special day through the year. Is it only reason for the feeling?
However, I had experienced more snowy days when I was in New York. And
I really loved walking around the city in snow. In a snowy night, I went
around to go home from the photo school even late at night. The park which
had crowd in the day time was very quiet in snow light. Skyscrapers were
illuminated in a snow haze. Mercury lights and illuminations of show window
lighted up the snowy street. A passing cab splashed up the slush. In the
corner of cross section melted snow made a ditch. Parking cars, trees in
the park were all covered by the same white veil. Perhaps, it's the reason
why I feel some intimacy with the city that everything was covered by the
same material, snow.
Several days ago, I knew my ex-superior had passed away. After I quitted
the company in Tokyo, he moved to the NYC bureau. So I visited his office
a couple of times. The last time I met him was a snowy day. It's freezing
winter that NY got heavy snow many times and NY Bay was covered by thousands
of drift ices which was flown from the Hudson river.
We got together at his office in Rockefeller Center, and walked down the
mid town of Manhattan putting hands in the pockets. We stopped by the Japanese
restaurant and had the hot food served in the pot. We toasted with sake
for the reunion in New York, and talked about the life in NYC, the family,
the old colleagues, and the things in the company after I had left. We
had chatted until closing time, and we moved to a pizza shop walking on
snowy street. Then we talked again over a dollar and forty cent pizza and
In hard snow, we had waited at the bus stop on the middle of slope. However
it's 1 o'clock in the morning and heavily snowing , the bus hardly came
up. The Hispanic family who covered their head with scarfs looked waiting
much longer than us. So I asked them in Spanish. They had already waited
for more than 40 minutes.
"Hey, when did you learn the Spanish?" the ex-superior asked
to me. "Well, I have a lot of <must speak Spanish>situation
here in New York ..... " I answered. "You looked like a Latin
person when you spoke in Spanish, huh?" "By the way, Spanish
is one of the most mismatched language for a heavy snow night, I think"
There were no sign for the bus coming. I felt very sorry to him for waiting
with me. Because his condominium was just two blocks away. So I decided
to take subway. "OK. So I'm gone walk down to my condominium. Good
night. I'll see you in Tokyo."We shook hands.
I crossed the street and looked back. I saw he was walking down the slope.
Manhattan was still in a heavy snow. After all, we have not met again in
Tokyo and forever.
"Manhattan in snow" NYC, New York, USA 1994