Finally. This weekend I finally felt the season was actually winter when my Gmail theme background turned white, and the view outside my window matched it. I think it’s safe to say this winter has been unseasonably warm and lacked the bite to even have me thinking about grabbing the boots out of the back of the closet.
So, after a bunch of cold windy days with annoying rain, this weekend we finally got some powder. Sure it only lasted one evening and it wasn’t cold enough to last more than 24 hours — but it finally felt like winter.
I come from the land of New Jersey where snow is a bit more regular and a snow day doesn’t happen when a report thinks there is a 40% chance of ice. DC has always made me laugh because while residents know it may snow every once in awhile, sheer panic occurs when it happens (being prepared won’t always save you).
Planning for Your Next Snow Day
With snow on my mind, here are some things to enjoy the next time DC goes in lockdown and we get a snow day.
Layer Up and Get Out There. If there is enough on the ground, the temperature is nice and cold, and it’s still coming down, there are not many good excuses for not having a little romp in the snow. The Borderstan area does not have a lot open park space, but Meridian Hill Park and Stead Park may be good areas for snowman building and snow-angel making. For the hardcore, take your garbage can top and head to one of these areas in the district that have good hills. There always tends to be a great neighbor vibe when it comes to playing in snow, so definitely get out there next time.
Don’t Just See a Movie, See an Imax. Lots of people go see movies on snow days and I don’t blame them; the allure of theater popcorn (always tastes better) and “movie theater-only candy” (like Buncha’Crunch) is strong. But if you are going to spend the day indoors, I recommend going big and going Imax. The one in the Air and Space Museum on the National Mall is easy to reach. Sometimes they play regular movies, but most of the time it’s one of their own great shows. Frankly, looking at today’s movies, I think the Imax is the better way spend your money and day.
Prepare for the Olympics with Ice Skating. Skating while it’s snowing is a great experience. The Sculpture Garden Ice Rink is easily accessible and worth a visit. Yeah, everyone wobbles a little and falls are standard so take the risk and enjoy it.
Of course, snow also lends itself to serious Netflix show marathons, sleep catch-up, trips to malls, Kindle usage, and delicious homemade hot chocolate. There are also small special events, but I think the key to a good snow day is plenty on the ground, cold temperature, and a good hill near by.
On My Mind
SUPERBOWL. My Giants vs. my gf’s Patriots. REMATCH. More words on this game and Borderstan activities during in next week’s column.
Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!
We ran a reader opinion poll last Wednesday, “Poll: Grade DC’s Snow Removal Efforts this Winter.” We asked readers to grade the city’s snow removal efforts for the entire winter:
How did the DC Government do in its efforts to remove snow from the city’s streets this winter? When giving your grade, consider the December snowstorm as well as the back-to-back storms in February that comprised Snowpocalypse.
A total of 129 readers responded. The city got Excellent or Good marks from 34% of readers while 41% gave Poor/Failing marks. In the middle were 25% of readers who gave the DC government a fair mark for snow removal efforts. Here is how Borderstan readers graded the effort:
- A/Excellent – 8%
- B/Good – 26%
- C/Fair – 26%
- D/Poor – 25%
- F/Fail – 15%
The federal government is opening two hours late today; employees may also take unscheduled leave, according to OPM. Other than that, it’s pretty much business as usual in DC. However, the city snow emergency is still in effect, so remember those parking restrictions. Metrorail is open at all 86 DC metro-area stations.
However, be careful to watch for icy patches on sidewalks and streets. It’s called black ice because it is transparent and takes on the color of the surface beneath it. So, on black pavement, it looks like… black pavement. It is often impossible to see–you only realize it’s there when you slip and loose your footing.
DC Snow Emergency at 9 a.m. After lifting the previous snow emergency on Saturday, DC is putting another snow emergency into effect at 9 a.m. this morning. The city will begin treating city streets for the expected light snowfall today. Remember the no-parking rules on certain streets during snow emergencies.
No DC Trash Pick Up Today. Today is President’s Day, which means there is no trash pick up. The Department of Public Works has more details.
Over at Greater Greater Washington, Dennis Jaffe has a post calling for volunteers to shovel out DC bus stops today. Jaffe is asking people grab a shovel and go clear out WMATA (Metro) bus stops in the area. You can read his post and the reader responses in the comments.
What do you think?
- Is clearing the snow from bus stops something that Metro should figure out how to do… no matter how overwhelming the two recent snowstorms have been?
- Are you willing to shovel out a bus stop this time, but not never again?
- Or do you believe that residents should regularly help out with this type of volunteer action, the same way we are supposed to shovel our sidewalks?
So, is anyone going to shovel out a bus stop today? We have plenty of them in the area.
We received snow pics from some neighbors this morning. Send us yours and we will post. Email email@example.com.
Note: Click on each image to enlarge it.
Our opinion poll on the city’s snow removal efforts is still open. We posted it before last night’s snow.
While it did snow last night, it did not snow enough to earn you a free day off from work. The federal government is open, with the unscheduled leave policy in effect–you will have to take a vacation day if you want to stay home.
The DC Government and schools are open for business on regular schedule.
I saw this posting over at dcist, “Icy Sidewalks of Death Provoke Comments and Questions” with links to some photos at PoP’s “Sidewalks of Shame” (the one of the 14th and T Post Office sidewalk yesterday was particularly galling). In addition, the dcist posting has links to a WaPo story and the City Paper’s Housing Complex, which have info on YOUR legal responsibities for keeping your sidewalk clear of ice and snow.
Over at DC Striving, there is a suggestion that if a sidewalk has not been shoveled and de-iced that dog owners should not have to pick up their poop from that patch of sidewalk. Sounds fair enough to me. (Yes, our building’s sidewalk is clean as a whistle, thank you very much, and has been since early Sunday morning… a total of four shovelings that began Saturday.)
So, are there any stretches of sidewalk in the Dupont-Logan are that you would like to nominate? How about 17th Street? 14th Street? 16th Street? P Street? Others?
MPD Chief Cathy Lanier yesterday issued a statement regarding the around-the-world famous snowball fight at 14th and U Streets NW on Saturday. The fame occurred after the snowballers pelted a passing Hummer that was driven by an off-duty DC police detective–who angrily got out of his car to confront the crowd with his gun drawn; a uniformed officer than arrived with his gun drawn.
In her statement, Lanier called the detective’s behavior “totally inappropriate” and said that he has been placed on “non-contact status until all the facts are gathered and discipline is handed down.”
As Chief of Police, I wanted to respond to the many messages received to our police listserv groups last night in reference to the off-duty police officer’s actions on last Saturday. I have reviewed the video clips and heard from the public. It is very obvious to me that the officer pulled his service weapon in response to the snowballs hitting his vehicle. I have no doubt about this, nor has the officer denied the accusations.
Let me be very clear in stating that I believe the actions of the officer were totally inappropriate! In no way, should he have handled the situation in this manner. We have taken swift action by placing him on non-contact status until all the facts are gathered and discipline is handed down.
On the corner of 14th and U, each time the light turned red the residents of the West side of 14th Street would attack residents of the East side. In this video, you can hear the crowd roar as the snowplow interrupts the fun momentarily.
It wasn’t organized. It was just a bunch of people who happened to be walking by throwing snow at each other. When the light turned red everyone attacked each other. It was a blast. We left before the vigilante cop showed up. Crazy!
We saw two interesting snowpersons around Borderstan this evening that you should check out tomorrow.
The first, a snowperson named Alan, is in front of Jack’s Restaurant, 17th and Church NW. It’s attracting many visitors (I first saw it on a Facebook friend’s Wall) and has taken on a somewhat shrine-like appearance and quality. I particularly like the accessories–a fruit hat and an umbrella with lights. Alan’s creator is Giovanni, who works at Jack’s; Alan was named for another employee at the restaurant.
The very-manly-snowman is on the front plaza of the Scottish Rite Masons temple at the southeast corner of 16th and S Streets NW. No idea on who created this snowman. The broken snow shovel as hat is a nice touch… as are the use of beer cans.