The East Coast had a slight edge in the "we feel sorry for you" category in today's News Cut Blizzard War. That evaporated the minute we saw this in the "handling the snarl" category:
That photo was tweeted by Brian Elmquist who noted, "Note to self. "When I'm elected office in a major metropolitan area. Prepare the plows before blizzard."
Come on, now, East Coast, you're not even trying here. First of all, there's not even that much snow in this picture and then you went all Kuwait-to-Basra-1991.
Secondly, check the car just below the bus. That car has been swept clean and shoveled out. That's his (or her) parking place.
How does Minnesota handle this? Observe:
I've lived in Minnesota for over 30 years and in Boston for 3 years in the 90s while in grad school. During my first winter there, Boston got over 100 inches of snow. I wondered why the city didn't run a snow plow schedule similar to ones in Minnesota cities: plow snow emergency routes first, then N-S streets, then E-W streets (or something similar). Then it occurred to me: Boston streets are not on a grid. What IS a N-S street in Boston?
Secondly, there are simply too many cars. If Boston required all cars to be removed from N-S streets for 12 hours for plowing or even required all cars to be parked on one side of N-S streets so one side could be plowed, there is no place to park all the cars.
This contributes to the hyper-individualism I observed there: the determination to clean out one's own parking place and aggressivly protect it against all comers by putting sawhorses or kitchen tables or other impediments in the way of possible parking spot usurpers. "I got mine!"
So sometimes I wallow in midwestern superiority, but on my better days, I recognize Boston has structural constraints (narrow streets, no grid, high congestion) that we don't have to deal with in the Twin Cities.
//This contributes to the hyper-individualism I observed there: the determination to clean out one's own parking place and aggressivly protect it against all comers by putting sawhorses or kitchen tables or other impediments in the way of possible parking spot usurpers. "I got mine!"
I lived on Peterborough St (Fenway) when I went to school in Boston. There was nothing worse than digging out your car (in my case a VW bug) and then having someone else pull into it.
In a substantial winter, those parking places end up being like protected garages, assuming you know how to parallel park.
The major difference is when I was in Massachusetts I used subway or walked... at least that was a decent option, whereas out here I have very little access to mass transit, not that either city (Boston, New York, or Minneapolis) are stellar in the snow removal department. Antoher thing was in New England, these type of snowfalls are not nearly as unusual as out here.... and they shut down highways, etc., quickly out east....been stuck in that a couple times.
Let them have their drama. There's probably as many people in New York who have never seen snow before as all Minneapolitans combined. Now Boston, Boston is just a massive retardation station. They deserve all the grief they get - and I'm from Massachusetts.
I had to laugh yesterday morning. I was watching the coverage the NYC blizzard on Fox & Friends, and they kept saying how awful it is. I thought to myself, if the snow is in Cleveland or Buffalo or Minneapolis, it's just a minor weather story, but when it hits New York, it's suddenly "The BLIZZARD OF 2010". About two minutes after I thought that, one of the anchors said he'd received an email or tweet or something from someone in Cleveland who said that we get this about seven times a year, so quit whining and suck it up. The anchor didn't have much to say to that.
I thought the contrast in pictures was perfect. In NYC, no one can drive anywhere, and everyone is getting cut off. In Minneapolis, traffic is moving in an orderly manner, and people are helping each other get the stalled cars out of the way.