Wednesday, January 05, 2011

getting my yankee up

Does the exhortation, "don't get so defensive!" annoy you? It annoys me. There are times when it's entirely suitable to feel defensive, and to want to defend. And anyway, I can feel any way I want. If I don't want to listen to what you have to say, that's another matter. But feeling and being defensive may just be legitimate.

For instance, I'm getting my Yankee up these days over criticism expressed in letters to the editor of our local rag about how New Yorkers whined about snow removal (or the lack thereof). "When we were flooded in May we didn't whine, we just pitched in and neighbor helped neighbor." This statement is true. Nashville did all of us proud in the way that middle Tennessee responded to the devastating floods last spring. "Why don't you grab your shovel and dig your way out instead of complaining that no one is doing it for you?" This from an area where school closings are announced the day before a forecast of flurries, and the typical snowfall in a given winter might accumulate to 2-3". Total. May I just say that flood recovery and snowfall are two different things.

Allow me to share. Been to New York? There's no place for the snow to go!  Snowplows can only create mountains of certain sizes before the piles begin to obstruct both pedestrian and vehicular traffic. This would be known as a counter-productive act. Snow removal is done by filling dump trucks with snow and carting it off to be dumped somewhere else. When you've got two feet of snow that dump truck fills up pretty fast. Shovel? If you're in the boroughs and even have a walk to your house, you can shovel that, and perhaps a portion of the sidewalk in front of your home. Then there are the streets where parking is totally insufficient on a good day and double parking is the norm. Yeah. Let's brush the snow off the rooftops into the single lane that remains of the street and get a plow down there.

And then there's the matter of melting snow. All that water exceeds the capacity of the sewer system and the water has nowhere to go. I've stepped from a New York curb into enough slushy messes that exceeded my leaping expertise to have total compassion on those who have to be out and about in the Big Apple in such conditions.

Neighbor helping neighbor? New Yorkers know their neighbors better than any southerner on any given day. Don't talk to me about being neighborly.

To my Tennessee neighbors who want to brag on themselves and snark at New Yorkers, don't mess with me.


Terri said...

Yes. I so agree with what you say here....

I also think it is tragic that some of the "bosses" in NYC may have directed their employees to NOT remove snow, a decision that may have caused the loss of life...sad, sad, sad....

Mary Beth said...

I love your new header photo!!

I agree with you: Feel however you feel! Having absolutely no experience of snow over 4", I defer to your comments.


Debi said...

You GO Girl!! As someone who spent a large chunk of her childhood in Upstate New York, you are spot on about what it's like to deal with that much snow. Just because it looks pretty, people forget that it's just as dangerous and destructive as any flood. Nashville DID do itself proud back in May, but all the finger pointing winds up sounding like sour grapes.

The Bug said...

I remember "the blizzard of '93" where a hurricane's worth of frozen water got dumped on us in western in NC. Of course we had plenty of places to put the snow, but it was a pain in the patootie! I remember my boss cross country skiied to work :)

I think that in general people like to cling to the "we're self-reliant & take care of our own" model even when it just doesn't make sense anymore.

Jan said...

Good pictures to illustrate your points--and excellent points (well made).

Kehlen said...

I am writing a blog entry about snowfalls, and comparing the street condition afterward in New England and in Moscow (I was very impressed with both when in Boston last January).

Do you mind if I use your last two pictures (with credit, of course), or would you prefer I just link you entry?



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