[the blizzard of aught-six]

Topic: Around Town


On Saturday night and Sunday morning, New York City was hit with its biggest snowfall ever recorded, a record 26.9 inches, just edging out the blizzard of December 1947, which dropped 26.4 inches. My mother remembers that one because the snow was deep enough to loom above her two-year-old head. But this was bigger.

Our own experience of the blizzard (which was not technically a blizzard [thanks, Gothamist]) was pretty mild, all things considered. On Saturday night, Jenny and I went on a Valentine’s date to the New York City Ballet, and we were hit by the heavy wind and snow on our way home.

The next morning, we awoke to a winter wonderland outside, and we decided to slog our way through it for a few blocks to reach BKLYN BREAD for breakfast, and to pick up a loaf of bread to go with the beef stew I planned to spend the afternoon cooking, because what makes a better snow-day meal than beef stew? The streets were busy with foot traffic, but only a few civilian cars rolled past amid the fleets of sanitation trucks with their plows fitted.

The beef stew came out marvelously: a bit of carrot, parsnip, raddish and celery, red and russet potatoes, two pounds of beef dredged in salt, pepper and flour, a can of diced tomatoes, two bay leaves, allspice, Italian herbs simmered all afternoon in red wine, chicken broth and hoisin sauce, with a bit of mustard and rice vinegar thrown in to make it tangy. A couple of friends stopped by to help us eat the stew and finish off the wine.

This morning, Jenny got hit with the inevitable transit snafus as she got up at 5 a.m. and made her way to Penn Station, only to find that her Amtrak train to Philadelphia had been canceled and that there were no tickets available for any of the later trains. So she came back home and set to work digging out the car, which was parked on the street and buried in enough snow to make it look like an igloo. A neighbor helped her out, and she managed to get the car free in about an hour and start on her way.