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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Something About Winter...

So, Bellingham has just emerged from a week-and-a-half long deep freeze, complete with snow and ice, barely drive-able roads, and requisite traffic accidents.

Is it weird that I was made homesick?

New York is one of the great winter cities in the country.  Yes, I am biased a bit, but hear me out.  New York has earned a reputation for being a rough place, filled with blunt, rude people who will run you over if you get in their way.  It's a crucible that takes the weak-minded, undisciplined, and poor and either forge them into something stronger, or kills them under the weight and pressure of living there.  Some of that rep is justified, some isn't.  It's not up to me to sift through which is which.

However, for the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, the city softens a bit.  Maybe it's the brainwashing from all the holiday music that yo hear from every place that has a speaker, but for that time, it never seemed as bad.  People were generally nicer to one another.  Kindness was seen on the surface.  As people geared up for the season, you could see it, feel it, a particular and unique kind of spirit.

It's the same as in small towns, when you see a kid's face light up as they meet Santa (TM) for the first time.  The big city is no different.  The Salvation Army still rings bells at every street corner, and people still drop their spare change into the big red pots.  Lights are strung up from every lamppost, intersections are made more festive.  Storefronts put up amazing displays.  And while NYC does it on an entirely different scale...

... it's still Christmas.  Or Hanukkah.   Or whatever you want to call it.

Don't get me wrong, New York in the dead of winter offers bone-chilling temperatures, schizophrenic weather patterns, and sometimes a kind of bleak that there isn't a word for, but for those six weeks, that specific time of year, it doesn't seem half bad.

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