New York City Blizzard 2016
Once upon a time two girls experienced their first east coast blizzard and it was far from what they expected…
New York and the surrounding areas had blizzard watches and warnings for three days straight with the potential for over a foot of snow and 50 mile per hour winds. The airports cancelled flights one day prior before it hit. Whole foods and grocery stores were swarmed. Traffic was insane the day leading up to the storm, and the roads were heavily salted.
Well, being from the Midwest and being let down when the meteorologist says we will only get 6+ inches of snow, or even a flake, only made me determined to see if this show was going to really happen. I had to see it to believe it.
Since flights were cancelled for at least the next day and there were no potential to get called for a trip, my friend Blair came over to stay with my roommates and I as we slumber partied.
After all the warning signs from the news, lack of bread supply at the grocery store, and the biggest red flag of all (AIRPORTS SHUTTING DOWN) we followed through with this brilliant idea to go into the city for a night out with some friends. Because that is what you do…you go out when there is a blizzard coming.
So, Blair and I made our way into the city and silently watched the snow begin to fall while having drinks at Del Friscos. Then, we made our way to some bars with dancing. We ventured all around the city. It was gorgeous. I did not even care my straight hair was getting wet.
Thank goodness for one of our friends who let us crash at his place that night since the trains stop running at a certain time every night. We woke up to inches of the white stuff….fast/swirling/freezing/beautiful white falling snow. We walked to a morning diner for breakfast and watched the snow heavily picking up and falling down in buckets at the top of a skyscraper. It was unlike any view I have ever seen. Something inside of me heightened my anticipation of how much snow we were going to get. Like a little child.
New York City was a scene from The Day After Tomorrow. Sidewalks were unseen and streets were mounded with snow. People were walking on the streets and the idiot I am took a picture of myself in the middle of it all.
Because we watched the snow toerrentially fall, we also thought at that point in time, when it was coming down the heaviest, that we absolutely must get back to my place in Jersey. Because why would you not stay put in a warm/cozy/non-blizzard-y place until the snow stops???
All transportation was suspended after 4pm and we got to the PATH train right around 3 pm. So we had less than 1 hour to try and get back. We were setting ourselves up for one heck of an adventure.
When we got to the PATH train, an announcement came on that they decided to only stop at Grove St. and suspend the route to Journal Square; Then we would then have to transfer to the NJ transit, and that was also suspended. Meaning…. no hope to taking the trains back.
We made it to Grove Street and met some others who were trying to get to Journal Sq. as well. So what did we do? We all HIKED to Journal Sq. in the blizzard.
Side note: Blair and I were still in boot heels and I was in leather pants from the night before…
We hiked for 40 minutes in the snow. We walked there not even knowing what we were going to do once we got there. Our hair was getting wet; So it froze in place. Snot was dripping and then freezing to our faces. Our legs were more than ankle deep. And there was minimal visibility to be seen ahead.
We eventually made it to journal square and found that everything was shut down. No cabs/busses/ubers/lyfts/trains/bicycles were running at this point. So, then we stopped inside a Bank of America ATM shelter and pondered our next plan of action.
Then a lightbulb came on in my head. We gotta hitchhike. Our only option at this point.
We braved the cold again and started walking towards a non-existent street. I signaled for a mini van that was already carrying hitchhikers trying to get to Newark. We got in and then the driver asked for $35 each to get there. At this point, I was desperate for anything. It did not even come across my head that this could be dangerous riding with a stranger. Shoot, I had no idea where we were going. He could have taken us the opposite direction to get butchered and I would not have known. I knew I could not tell Nanny about this one.
Our driver only made us pay $20 because we got stuck and stopped right outside of Newark. We got stuck right before a gas station and then had to go inside and wait for another plan. We were already 2 hours deep trying to get home.
After waiting around inside this teeny gas station for like 30 min trying to figure out what to do next, God sent angels our way. Carlos and Henry!! It was as if spotting gold when I saw this F-250 truck rolling in with a plow in front of it. We asked where he was going and he said he was going our direction as well. He told us to jump on in the truck. We made it back to my place after three hours when a train only takes 20 min to get home from the city on a normal basis.
Whew. What an adventure. Through that whole miserable state of trying to get home, we honestly could not keep from laughing the whole time. Laugh to keep from crying. Everyone we met along the way said, “Oh you’re going to get stuck because there is no transportation. Better get you a hotel”. NO. We were not gonna get a dang hotel. We were determined to get home.
Moral of the story: You can always find a way to get where you are going. It may take you a little while, but do not give up. If plan A does not work then move on to plan B/C/D/E/Z. Also, I would advise not to hitchhike unless it is absolutely necessary.
Okay that was cheesy, but very true. If Rachael Mayse can trek through 26.8 inches of blizzarding snow, who hates the cold, who sleeps with heating pads, who hated ice baths during collegiate soccer…..then you can find your way and do just about anything too. ha
Well not really, because the next night a group of us went back into the city, minus the actual blizzarding snowfall. But ,we came home on a train this time. 😎