I remember it snowing maybe only three or four times in New Orleans IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. One time, I was playing Santa Claus at Maison Blanche at the Plaza in New Orleans East, and we got about two or three inches that stuck.
My parents had a truck at the time, and they insisted on coming out to pick me up. We retrieved my car a couple of days later, which is nothing short of miraculous, if you know that area.
The most recent memory I have of snow in NOLA is of Christmas 2004, which was especially magical because it came literally on Christmas Day. It was a beautiful, perfect surprise from the universe that was also a secret harbinger of doom, because the real surprise was to come the following summer.
The first year I lived in New York, in the mid-1990s, there were something like 13 blizzards in one winter. (The number is not a coincidence, I’m convinced.) Last year, there was a huge blizzard here at the end of February, which in NOLA is usually early spring. Cammie and I went out to Coney Island, because Cammie wanted to experience a beach in the snow.
You can’t really see the accumulation that close to the water, because the tide washed most of it away. But if you’d turned 180 degrees, you would have seen THIS!
The thing about snow is that it’s wonderful when it’s fresh and new, but it doesn’t stay that way for long. We want to believe that snow is indeed magic, like something out of a fairy tale, all glittery and lush and serene.
But it doesn’t take long for the blanket of white to become soiled and treacherous. This is The Prettiness turned into slushy muck at the corner outside my apartment:
And this is the hard-pack ice bank that was forming outside our building.
And this was not even a bad snowfall, y’all! But my super is outside at this moment, shoveling it away finally and flirting with the passersby, resulting in nuggets like these:
SUPER: Hey, baby! Ten-to-one you married, right?
RANDOM WOMAN #1: Um, what?
SUPER: I said, ten-to-one you married, right?
RANDOM WOMAN #1: Are you asking me if I’m married?
SUPER: Yeah, you married?
RANDOM WOMAN #1: Yes.
SUPER: Bullshit. You just telling me that so I leave you alone. All right. Don’t bother me.
SUPER: (Yelling) Hey, mami. You are beautiful! Mami! Mami? You gonna pretend like you don’t hear me? I’m paying you a compliment! You stupid bitch. I hope you get hit by a fucking bus! I bet you hear that one.
And this gem from the hallway, as he stepped inside to take a call:
SUPER: (On phone) You coming by? Yeah, I said you coming by? ARE YOU FUCKING COMING HERE OR NOT?! ‘CAUSE IF YOU DON’T BRING ME MY FUCKING STUFF, YOU CAN LOSE MY GODDAMN NUMBER?! YOU HEAR ME?! LOSE MY FUCKING NUMBER! (Pause. Then, sweetly) A half a hour? Okay. I’ma be outside. I gotta shovel.
There’s more of it coming next week, too. What. Fun.