Snow and the City, with Bonus Frostbite


Daylight saving started in New York City on Sunday March 8, where I now reside.

Completely unlike Australia, where the days are already getting longer when the clocks change, in New York the streets are still covered in snow, and the top temperature is often below freezing.

Seeing a city covered in snow is bizarre, especially for an Australia who’s barely seen snow before.

To begin, complete colonies of snow flakes silently drift and float down from the sky to the ground.

Cars and buses then drive, skid and honk through the slush with the same haphazard and darting ferocity as usual. As most of the snow quickly turns to a brown, black and urine-yellow slush.


Bags of trash poking through some of the still pristine white snow, however, become sacks of Christmas presents waiting patiently to be delivered.

Snow is also surprisingly adept at destroying secrets.

Days after snowfall any abandoned or neglected cars are obvious, as they remain covered. Buildings with lazy caretakers still have icy entryways, and due to the melting mess it’s as if the city has suddenly sprung a million leaks.

For walking on the soaking and frozen sidewalks, canvas shoes are not recommended. As what looks like concrete, the road or a step is often ankle-deep slush.


Also, your feet shouldn’t be numb and toes still purple after being submerged in hot water for over an hour.

According to the emergency room doctor, amputation won’t be necessary.

He smiled broadly while explaining that there may be some lasting tissue damage, as what I had was indeed frostbite, but barely.

The official diagnosis was ‘superficial frostbite’ and a big laugh from himself, the nurse, and half the people in the waiting room. All followed by an even bigger bill.

This article was first published on Bytestories:


Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian

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