Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2020

New York City Snow Storm Survival

New York City Snow Storm Survival

Editor’s note: Once a week, Laura Morton will use personal history to put a Craigslist ad into perspective.

The Story

Last week, Sandy (a.k.a. Frankenstorm) wreaked havoc on the eastern seaboard. Two nights ago, a nor’easter came out of nowhere to drop snow on New York City.

Almost ten years ago, when I still lived there, as flurries began to fall, I packed a small bag, hopped on the F train and headed out to my sister’s.

It wasn’t just the two of us. With her two roommates and downstairs neighbor, we had a small party of five and spent the evening watching the quiet snowfall out the window, playing music, and eating salty, greasy food.

The next morning, snow blanketed the city. Everything stopped. I never knew stillness and silence in New York like that day.

Katie, in the basement apartment, called up because she couldn’t get out. Snow piled up to block her front and back door, so we layered on all our clothes and dug her out.

Well, we didn’t really dig her out so much as dig ourselves in. The five of us decided to stay in her cozy basement apartment and smoke cigarettes and watch movies.

While watching Some Kind of Wonderful, we heard a muted thud at the back door. We walked back to find two more friends caught between the snow and the building.

Now, with seven of us in the smoky basement, loopy from the lack of ventilation and cabin fever, we decided to walk to the corner store.

We put on our warmest clothes, pulling sweater over sweater and scarf over scarf. We stepped out onto the eerily quiet street and trudged up to the corner store, which happened to be about four corners away.

In the quiet, cold air, we pretended to be in Little House on the Prairie, heading to the mercantile for the provisions. I don’t think it had occurred to any of us to actually prepare for this snowstorm ahead of time, and when we arrived at the accommodating shop, it showed.

We bought three packages of Oreos, two gallons of milk, four loaves of bread, a large container of peanut butter, and seven boxes of assorted cereal with absolutely no nutritional value.

When I think about it, I can’t believe that shop stayed opened. Snow piled on the streets, practically covering the parked cars. We didn’t see a single person on our venture . . . and yet this man opened his shop. I can only hope that the money we spent made up for our obvious annoying shouts, laughter, songs, inside jokes, and half-conversations.

We trudged back home, barely feeling the cold on our necks or the snow in our shoes. We buried ourselves again in the basement apartment, piled together on the sofa, watching movies, and eating junk food to our hearts’ content.

Since that day, I’ve always loved storms.

The Ad

new york craigslist > queens > personals > casual encounters

Storm party – 24 (Queens)

My Bi-girlfriend an I are hosting… Females, Tv, Ts, Cd’s passable only…for a night of fun… We have liquor and 420… Send pics and # for address.. This is for now

The Response

Even if you can’t spend the storm with friends or such lovely persons as this gentleman and his bi-girlfriend, I do genuinely hope you have survived the worst.