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…

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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.

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.

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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