Friday, February 8, 2013


The song tells us that New York is the "City that never sleeps," and that may be so, but on certain days, the City is magnificently, gloriously, beautifully, luminously, soporifically quiet.

This season's first "Storm of the Century" is upon us. It's called "Nemo," which in Latin means "nobody." Nemo is what Odysseus said to the Cyclops when the Cyclops asked, plaintively, who blinded me? Nobody.

This storm is far from a nobody. It's predicted to dump a foot or more on New York and two feet on Boston and Western Massachusetts. Governor Cuomo of New York has declared a state of emergency and Governor Patrick of Massachusetts closed all state roads at 4 PM.

Of course, the needs of Whiskey, my 10-month-old Golden Retriever, trump any weather system. And with my wife working late once again, I went out with Whiskey for a long walk along the East River. I left the house around five and didn't return home until nearly two hours later.

Some of this was selfish. Walking Whiskey now would get our long exercise romp over before the brunt of the storm is due to hit Manhattan. And it's expected to be fierce, with biting cold and driving winds.

Carl Schurz Park, a 14.9-acre park reconstructed by Robert Moses in 1935 and home of the Mayor's residence, Gracie Mansion, is where I walk Whiskey, nine nights out of 10. It's a peaceful place, just a block from my apartment and adjacent to the river.

Along the river runs the East River Promenade with its elegantly curved wrought iron protecting pedestrians from the water. The promenade extends unbroken down to 61st Street where it is interrupted by the Queensboro Bridge and up to 122nd, where the Triboro interferes.

Whiskey and I headed uptown, stopping at the hill of "Hoorn's Hook," a hill overlooking the wide water expanse of the Hell's Gate. Hoorn's Hook was named by an early Dutch landowner, Siebert Classen. I find this fact amusing since my long-time art-director partner was named Claesson.

On Hoorn's Hook neighborhood kids were sledding, using all sorts of conveyances--traditional sleds, plastic saucers, corrugated flattened boxes and big black garbage bags. A couple dogs were out as well. Their owners, like me, bundled up against the cold. Whiskey ran up and down the hill with a mongrel named Layla.

Nemo kept coming.

But nobody could keep me out of the city on a night like tonight.


Rich Siegel said...

I am so jealous right now.

Anonymous said...

You've a strange habit of stating the exact age in months of Whiskey, but never show any pictures of the yella fella. Is it because she's hyperactive and impossible to snap, or you're planning to enter her into the Westminster and don't want her dognapped?

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Anonymous said...

So - "Nemo." - I woulԁn't have thought it would be as good a read as it has been. Now I should really go and do some work!

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