Blizzard 2016 (Jonas)
Like many East Coasters, yesterday marked a record breaking snow day. Having lived in the suburbs of NYC for most of my life, it was always known that NYC rarely received the same amount of snow accumulations that we did further north. It wasn’t until yesterday where NYC received the second most amount of snow in history – a whopping 26.8 inches recorded.
Like many New Yorkers, I planned a day full of Netflix, movies and cleaning to offset the sense of boredom that usually comes along with living in a shoebox. Unfortunately, by 5 PM, cabin fever set in and I got up and met up with a few friends to have a couple of drinks.
The trek to the bar was a mere 7 blocks. Since there was a travel ban implemented after 2:30 PM, motorists were prohibited from being on the roads except for emergency vehicles. I typically listen to my iPhone whenever I walk around but it was obvious the minute I stepped outside that I would not be needing it this time. For the first time in awhile, I heard and saw things that I didn’t typically see and it was so awe inspiring.
So, what did I see and hear?
I heard the sound of laughter coming from others walking around and taking in the sights.
I saw people enjoying themselves as they danced in the streets and sidewalks.
In a nutshell: I saw people revert back to their innocent and playful inner child. For once in a long time, I actually saw people remove themselves from technology and truly observe and appreciate the sights and sounds around them. Many bars were open and were packed with patrons laughing with each other. Topic of conversation revolved around the storm; however, what I truly noticed was the spark in everyone’s eyes when conversing on the topic. This was evident even through social media. Posts of the storm showed happy faces and a genuine sense of excitement.
Yes, we all were truly happy, the kind of happy that children exhibit when they see snow.
The Day After
The night ended and when I woke up the next day, I turned my iPhone back on and I trekked around the block to observe the sights. Everyone was still seemingly happy; however, there was a clear difference from last night. Sounds of people complaining of the snow, the fact that they have to shovel themselves out of their spots, the fact that someone’s building entrance wasn’t fully cleared of snow debris ….the list goes on and on.
As I made my way back to my apartment, I began to wonder why, in just a mere few hours, did we lose our inner childhood excitement and appreciation for the sights and sounds around us?
When did we decide that it’s best to just put in a pair of headphones and large sunglasses and avoid any interaction with others?
Understandably, we all have responsibilities to tend with in our everyday lives where it would be hard to actually discover all of our surroundings; however, why does it take a storm for people to experience the basic excitement that we had as children?
For me, seeing this was a big revelation for me. After I returned to my apartment, I vowed to try my best to make a weekly effort to disconnect from technology and appreciate the sights and sounds around me.
Yes, for me,the Blizzard of 2016 was an awakening moment. As I prepare to head out now to the local grocery store, I am opting to leave my iPhone home. And I’m truly looking forward to the sounds in which I will hear.