New York Winters

The Diary of Marie Claire's French Intern

Here's a science question: What does 10 cm of snow added to pouring rain make?

I got the answer a few mornings ago. It makes 10 cm of slush - like little rivers on the sidewalk — and it's impossible to cross the street. So if you want to go through the freezing or slushy rivers you need a boat! It's not easy to find one in New York…

All of this to say, that the weather wasn't very good. My shoes were wet, my socks were wet, and my tights were too. My pretty faux-leather pants were so soaked that when I walked you would have thought that Robocop had forgotten to buy some oil.

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But contrary to Paris, people seemed more cold than in a bad mood. One gentle old woman offered me a place under her umbrella while I was waiting for the bus. Then when I got on the bus, I was $1 short the fare (and I didn't have any coins). To my surprise, I heard the bus driver asking if someone had change for me. And to my even greater surprise, I saw everybody looking in their purses and wallets. Nobody looked at me with condescension or looked away; but people said "sorry" or "haven't the change" with a real smile. I was so shocked that I didn't even see the man who stood up to add the amount I needed. I confess it gave me a boost to see people help each other instead of ignoring others just because they don't know them. But that boost disappeared when I nearly did a face plant in the middle of the street after sliding on a sheet of ice.

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Then, as I was looking at a pool of water in front of me wondering to myself how I would pass through it, a woman that I didn't know stopped beside me, looked at me and said, "I want to go to bed," in a whiny way before walking on. "Hmmm…Yes, so do I," I thought. I enjoy this city because people speak with each other as if we were a big group of friends in summer camp.

And so, I arrived at my office with thinning bed hairs, flaky make-up, soaking pants (which left a puddle on the floor wherever I stood) and a strange similarity to a Yorkshire puppy that someone had just taken out of Niagara Falls.

So, here's my second question: How do you, New Yorkers, always have perfect hair and make-up as if you just finished meeting with a stylist even in this weather?

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