Monday, December 21, 2009

"i was told it never snowed here"

Cafe Starbucks
Apparently, visiting Canadians don't think there's any difference between D.C. and Florida in winter:
One Canadian visitor to the region was stunned on Sunday as he watched residents of a quiet neighbourhood in nearby Silver Spring, MD, digging out under sunny skies, some with garden spades rather than the snow shovels that are required possessions for any Canadian.

"I completely didn't expect anything like this when I came down here; I was kind of looking forward to getting out of the snow," Jono Cottingham, 19, a McGill University student, said Sunday.

"In Canada, we get this stuff a lot but comparatively, it shuts down completely, everything shuts down here. In Canada, we have salt and snow plows and stuff."

Cottingham had only Nike running shoes on his feet as he trudged through the hip-high snowbanks. He was heading to downtown D.C. to check out the some of the city's famed museums after the subway finally started running again.

His girlfriend wore rubber rain boots, assuming she had packed well for typical December weather in Washington.

"I was told it never snowed here," she said.
Silly Montrealers. (McGill is in Montreal, in case you didn't know.) Well, thanks for a spring break covered in eighteen inches of snow. I was just as surprised as you are. Y'all say you have "snow plows and stuff," but where were they to dig out your precious Cafe Starbucks?

1 comment:

Thomas Hardman said...

Your Canadian associates probably come from a member of the Winter Cities Institute. More or less, before the New Urbanism became hip, these guys were in the forefront. See also their Wikipedia entry.

In the wake of the awesome 1996 snowstorm that brought down the Marion Barry administration, there were a flurry of news pieces on how they handled big snowstorms in places like Toronto, Ontario. They had cool equipment like giant road-graders that piled the snow near special snow-control drain grates, and then used live steam spray to melt the snow which was then carried away in heated drain pipes. Obviously this take a lot of energy, and can't be used except in limited sectors of urban core. Still, the Canadians are definitely used to dealing with snow, and lots of it, whereas for us, snow is a special occasion.

Speaking of Special Occasions, a Super Solstice to One and to All.