Wednesday, 10 February 2010


If frenzied local TV news reports are to be believed New York is on the verge of becoming a real life version of 'The Road'.

"It's a big time storm people!" NY1 has been screaming for the last 24 hours.

If Ny1 had pants it would be wetting them right now. This week they've had a City councilman charged with fraud (Larry Seabrook claimed $170 for a bagel), the last fashion week at Bryant Park and snowmageddon-all in one week. There is even the possibility of these stories colliding-should the accused decide to turn up at the tents and become trapped by a giant snowdrift while trying to get a receipt for $120 for a can of coke.

The fervor was fed by mayor Bloomberg who called a press conference yesterday about the snow, which he kicked off by declaring the closure of all NY public schools on Wednesday. After that annoucement from the NY Department of Knee Jerk Reactions came this advice from The Mayoral Ministry of Stating the Frickin' Obvious:

"Wear hats, scarves and gloves"

Bloomberg then looked serious before decreeing:

"Don't shovel snow if you're not in great shape, we don't want anyone having a heart attack"

This all smacks of British weather panic and brings back memories for me of sitting at news desks writing headlines like "Batten down the hatches", even though I was always pretty sure no one had hatches and I remain unconvinced 'batten' is a word. I expected better of hardened New Yorkers.

Meanwhile on the lovingly low budget NY1 there's some more advice for the advice frenzy machine. Just to make sure you get the message they are running them over some cheap snowflake graphics:

'Find your snow Shovel'
'Plan your parking'
'Be ready for airport woes'

Telling New Yorkers how to deal with snow is a little like telling Brits how to deal with rain.

As I write this evening Bloomberg is doing another press conference live on NY1. He's telling us all how well he's dealt with the snow and how justified he was in closing schools.

Just in case anyone should think he's making a icy mountain out of a snowy molehill he's chucking in a serious news angle. New York blood banks have lost 1500 donations today so Bloomberg is urging us all to go and donate.

Then for viewers bothered by the serious tone, there's some light relief from the Mayor-Fear not fans of musical theatre! The likes of Jersey Boys and Wicked won't let 10 inches stop them! Oh no!

"All Broadway performances will go on as planned."

The show must go on. Thanks Mike.

That's more like the New York I know and love.

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