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The Biggest Snowstorm in Years Blanketed New York

Weather: Mostly sunny today and Saturday with highs in the low 30s but very cold at night. Cloudy and slightly warmer Sunday.

Alternate-side parking: Suspended through Saturday for snow operations. Parking meters will remain in effect.

New Yorkers had the lushest snowfall seen on city streets in years. For many residents, their routines carried on: working from home, taking classes online. But some people made an effort to go outside for a change.

[See how the winter storm unfolded in the New York region.]

Here’s what you need to know about the storm’s aftermath:

The morning after the snowfall hit the city, the National Weather Service recorded that 10 inches had fallen at Central Park. Parts of the Bronx and Queens saw nearly a foot of snow. And on Long Island, towns reported three to eight inches of snow.

But in the end, it was upstate New York that felt the brunt of the storm. Several cities reported record or near-record snowfalls. In Binghamton, meteorologists measured 41 inches of snow, the biggest two-day snowfall record in decades.

Transit officials had been worried earlier this week, but my colleague, Christina Goldbaum, reported that there were no major service delays on subways and buses.

The subway’s D train experienced a brief weather-related delay, and some buses were behind schedule from being driven at reduced speeds in the snow. There were scattered delays on the Metro-North Railroad, too, after one northbound train hit a fallen tree on Thursday morning.

Nearly 300 flights were canceled on Thursday at the three major airports that serve the city: John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International.

In a normal year, a snowstorm of this size would have been a nightmare to most New Yorkers. But my colleague Michael Wilson found that the midweek nor’easter brought unexpected joy in the pandemic era.

[This is how New York City residents felt about the winter storm.]

In the Bronx, Denise Rodriguez, 29, who was furloughed from her receptionist job, said she was excited to enjoy the snow with her family. “It feels good just doing childish things,” she said.

Sabrina Padro, a transit employee in Queens, did not relish the snow shoveling she had to do. At the same time, Ms. Padro was looking forward to an activity that would break up the monotony of this year. “It’s a distraction,” she said.

The hazardous travel conditions led to several deadly car crashes, prompting Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in 18 upstate counties.

Mount Sinai’s decision to give a young marketing staffer one of the first coronavirus vaccines raised concerns at the state health department. [Politico]

New York City’s public hospital system suspended elective surgeries this week to make room for coronavirus patients. [New York Post]

Staff members of the New York City Council became the first legislative staff union in the state. [Gothamist]


The Times’s Melissa Guerrero writes:

Although many performance spaces, museums and community centers are closed, people are finding creative ways to connect through virtual events and programs. Here are suggestions for maintaining a New York social life this weekend while keeping a safe distance from other people.

On Friday at 11 a.m., the artists Sarah Rothberg, Theo Triantafyllidis and Lu Yang discuss how the “choreography of the body” is related to the notions of telepresence, live performance and other experiences.

Register for the free livestream on the event page.

On Sunday at noon, learn how to make greetings cards, using materials at home, to celebrate the end of the year. The bilingual workshop, hosted by the Queens Museum, is free.

Visit the event page for registration information.

On Sunday at 5 p.m., watch a performance of “A Christmas Carol” from the Merchant’s House in Manhattan. John Kevin Jones will portray Charles Dickens to retell the holiday classic.

R.S.V.P. for free on the event page. A $30 donation is suggested.

It’s Friday — get in the holiday spirit.


Dear Diary:

I worked the phones at Rosedale Fish Market on Lexington Avenue in the late 1970s to help pay the bills while I auditioned for shows. As a recent college graduate new to the city, I was delighted to take orders from the Upper East Side residences of the rich and famous.

Even better was when they appeared in person. David McCallum, a.k.a. Illya Kuryakin from “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” stopped by once, and I had to restrain myself from telling him I used to hang his picture on my bedroom wall.

One day I fielded a call from Edward Albee. (Of course I knew who he was; I had majored in theater.)

“I left my briefcase in the produce store next door,” he said. “Would you pick it up and hold it for me until I come get it?”

“Uh, sure,” I replied.

After grabbing the bag, I stashed it in my glassed-in cubicle, glancing at it often while I worked.

What was inside? His latest manuscript? What a thrilling find that would be for a would-be actress. Maybe just a peek?

No, I couldn’t bring myself to open it. But I did hope I’d at least get a chance to speak with him when he came in to retrieve it.

No such luck. He dashed into the store and barely looked my way as he snatched up the briefcase and then quickly departed.

— Penny Musco


New York Today is published weekdays around 6 a.m. Sign up here to get it by email. You can also find it at nytoday.com.

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