Despite the snow-covered fields, many sought out local parks for their usual weekend athletic activities, including soccer.
Story and photos by Laura Gabby
New Yorkers witnessed a rare sight over the weekend: still-green foliage layered under a wet mat of snow. The green leaves were a poignant reminder of summer, and of just how warm it has been until recently. In most places, the leaves have yet to fall.
2.9 inches of snow was recorded in Central Park this past Sat., Oct. 29th. This is the first time since the city began recording snowfall in 1869 that over an inch of snow fell in Central Park in October.
The snowfall began late Saturday morning to early afternoon throughout northern Manhattan and Bronx. The city deployed over 400 salt spreaders, prepared 1,400 plows, and scheduled 2,200 sanitation workers for the midnight – 8am shift.
Beyond the snow, branches and trees fell throughout the day Saturday. Tree branches had to bear more weight than usual, as the leaves created a greater surface area to catch snow.
The Office of Emergency Management advised people to stay out of the parks and playgrounds Saturday. But by Sunday morning, many residents had returned to the parks.
An ultimate Frisbee league continued their games on top of a snow covered field in Inwood Hill Park.
“You get muddy and it makes you look tougher,” said Jordan Rosefigura, a league organizer.
One team dressed up as pirates for the Halloween holiday. Their rivals chanted from across the field, “Yo-ho, pirates, we’ll get dirty with you any time!”
At Mullaly Park in the Highbridge neighborhood of the Bronx, a few men gathered to play soccer in the snow. According to Ali, one of the players, the group plays every Sunday unless the weather does not permit. They scouted out a few soccer fields – near Yankee stadium, one on 153rd, and one on Jackson Avenue – but the field at Mullaly was the best option in the snow. While fallen branches were down throughout the parks, they’d been mostly cleared to the side.
Many unofficial games and activities went on, but official ones were canceled. League soccer games throughout the Bronx were canceled, as was The Halloween Marathon in Van Cortlandt Park.
Along Fordham Road, some stores rushed to put out winter gear. At one variety store, kids’ hats and gloves were prominently displayed outside along the sidewalk. The owner said they still had not received the adult hats and gloves – those would arrive next week.
At Tino’s Delicatessen on Arthur Avenue, a tree from neighboring Ciccarone Park fell near the entrance, blocking the sidewalk in front of the restaurant. The tree fell on top of a car, causing minor damage. Co-owner Rosa Paciullo said Tino’s had had about half the business they usually have on a Saturday. Even by Sunday, business was relatively slow.
Inwood resident Steve said he saw a lot of car damage around the neighborhood. After driving during the storm on Saturday, Steve returned to Inwood in the evening looking for a parking spot.
“When I came home, there was a parking spot. I was shocked. There are never parking spots [here]. I realized it was under a hanging branch. No wonder no one was parking there,” said Steve.
New York City missed some of the more severe conditions that hit Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Westchester, upstate New York, and the New England seaboard.
1.8 million customers lost electricity from Pennsylvania to Maine. Many areas received more than 2 feet of snow. In West Milford, New Jersey, only 45 minutes northwest of New York City, 19 inches of snow was recorded.