Live from Snowpocalypse
Editor’s Note: As a distributed team, we’re used to working in different timezones. However, the recent #Snowpocalypse makes it feel like different worlds. Wiki researcher and writer Emily Gaudette braves the storm to fill the rest of us in on what it’s like to live life below zero. You've heard the numbers, right? This winter is almost the snowiest season on record in the city of Boston, and we've got another storm coming our way. In February alone, we were frosty-slammed with a wall of snow that obliterated any previous numbers, giving Bostonites yet another thing to be aggressively, misguidedly proud of. At this point, the Boston Globe is actually rooting for us to die, frozen in the streets, publishing headlines like "Don’t give up on that snowfall record yet!"
My impression of the average Boston citizen right now: Ya think you're wicked cold? You should try walking through Havahd Yard! It's literally a frozen slab of broken promises right now. Anyway, about the Sox…
My impression of myself:
I'm reporting on Boston's snowfall because I literally can't leave my apartment to do anything else. 68.4 inches of nightmare fell out of the sky in February, and we've had 3.7 more inches in March so far. That's more than six feet of dirty, spray-painted snow and, frankly, we're running out of places to put it.
This is actually a picture of my attractive, millennial friend Lexi, but we're all hunched over and bundled up these days, so everyone in Boston looks one thousand years old.
In the past, Boston has tried different tactics to melt, store and lessen snow build-up. In 1948, the mayor turned to Boston's greatest minds (MIT nerds) and requested they design flamethrowers to sear the snow right off the T tracks. Mayor James Curley said he was confident MIT would figure it out, "be it by flamethrowers or chemicals or otherwise," which basically meant he couldn't have cared less what they did, as long as the snow was gone.
Seriously ya geeks, just burn it off, poison it off, insult its mother, I don't care. Get rid of it!
I have no choice but to dismount... Guess I'll just throw my bike on top of this dirty ice.
The snow made commuting impossible for days on end in February, and the city lost $265 million EACH DAY workers couldn't get to their jobs. Massachusetts had to raise its snow budget in 2015 from a measly $50 million to $125 million, according to the Boston Globe. On top of that, my Uber driver told me last week that Malden, the suburb where he lives, has completely stopped clearing its roads because the city ran out of money. (Take that one with a grain of salt, because he insisted we listen to Fun! the whole ride, so he might not be the most reliable source.)
Ah, what a lovely stroll to the grocery store! I'm so grateful that the world's skinniest man shoveled out his walkway for pedestrians like me.
Boston opened up five "snow farms" in February, driving truckloads of dirty snow to store it in less important, less interesting areas of the city, like the Seaport District. This upset approximately 25 yuppies so deeply that they didn't even want frozen yogurt, like, not even pumpkin flavor. NPR estimated that the city's largest snow farm held approximately "61,933,000 6-inch snowballs" in early February.
This was once my neighbor's front yard. I'm pretty sure her kids are still in there somewhere.
Boston also began using state prisoners to shovel the snow in late February. Boston Public Schools began planning for remote, online-only curriculum adjustments so kids wouldn't have to miss any more material due to the weather. At this point, most schools have already cancelled spring break to cut their losses.
When the streets in the suburbs became crowded with the chairs, tables, and traffic cones citizens were using to mark their shoveled-out parking spots while using their cars, the Somerville police department began confiscating these space savers. A writer for the Boston Globe, drunk with power at this point, called it "a game of musical chairs gone wrong." This pretty much plunged my neighborhood into the Mad Max universe.
Many of us hibernated with "House of Cards" this past week, and the weather forecast suggests we might all be inside watching "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" for weeks. Here's looking forward to the Great Melt of 2015!