You'd understand why the New York stations provided endless commercial-free coverage all Saturday. Of course, if people really wanted that, they just had to look outside their windows. (Evidence A at left.)
Still, there was something comforting about seeing the same half-dozen reporters in their bright-colored parkas with the station's logo prominently displayed over their hearts. I pledge allegiance to WABC-TV, for which it promises free ad-time in the future...
But that gets old after three hours, even if the weatherfolks tenuously increased their snow total predicitions. (Fun fact: Snow depth is the only depth provided by local newscasts.) So unlike the scaredy cats in Washington whose second 9/11 came in the form of an inch of snow last Thursday, New Yorkers weren't going to let a few flakes keep them from having a good time.
For what's more romantic than walking face-first into a raging blizzard with 75 MPH wind gusts? As long as there was a bar open in the neighborhood, there was someplace to warm up with a cold beer. And thanks to a travel ban that went into effect at 2:30, people got to walk in the middle of the road.
Not that drivers paid attention to the ban. We're New Yorkers, remember. Our motto is I'll be the judge of that. Mayor de Blasio promised all non-emergency vehicle drivers would be arrested.
Arrested? Hah, good one, Bill! I wanted to jump in the middle of the FDR Drive to get a shot, but there were too many cars travelling merrily on their way to the Deegan Expressway. (Fun fact #2: The Deegan appears to be the only major roadway in New York City whose name hasn't been changed in honor of a dead Democratic politician. Right now, a certain former mayor is thinking, Some day, the Brooklyn Bridge is gonna be the David Dinkins Bridge, sucker!)
But to get back to the original point: I'm sure most new junkies in America asked themselves, Why is everyone four-walling this blizzard? Just how does this affect people in Joplin, Missouri?
Don't worry, it doesn't. It's just that New York is the heart of television news. So if something happens here, IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT. Besides, it occurred on a Saturday, when important news events take a break. (Remember what I said about MSNBC's endless prison shows?) We gave you something to watch. You're welcome.
Look,Hurricane Sandy was, what, over three years ago, right? It was our turn to hog the natural disaster spotlight. It won't happen again until the next time it does.
This link may or may not lead you to a somewhat jittery video I shot on my corner around 3:00 on Saturday afternoon. The storm continued like this for another seven hours: