Winter Storm Jonas has come and gone, leaving behind a record 26.8 inches of snow. While most of you stayed in watching Netflix, some of us were working outside during the storm. As a bike messenger for Uber RUSH (the ride sharing company's same day delivery service), I'm one of them. The company was offering some extra cash for those who braved the storm, and since I'm always unsure where my next check is coming from, I took the bait and ventured out into the arctic landscape. Here's what I learned from the experience.
Cobblestone streets are the devil
Mercer Street's cobblestone section (right below Houston) is adorable and harkens back to Ye Olde New York. But when you're transporting a cake over said cobblestones while snow pours onto the street and you're inches from falling off your bike, you begin cursing those damn early settlers.
Abandoned NYC Is super epic
During the storm, the city that never sleeps looked pretty sleepy. Broadway was barren. The same went for Grand Street and all of Lower Manhattan. Seeing a suddenly tranquil NYC made me realize something: Sometimes it's not a bad thing when a 24/7 haven becomes dead. There are fewer cars to deal with, less noise and less tourists from Minnesota who ask if we're on 5th Avenue while standing under a street sign that reads "5th Ave."
7-Eleven never, ever closes
Jonas forced the Port Authority to cancel PATH train service in Jersey City. Because I live in JC's Heights neighborhood, I temporarily locked up my bike and walked 90 minutes to my apartment in the blizzard. Virtually every store was closed as I passed by the Holland Tunnel's entrance. That is, except 7-Eleven. In a weekend filled with mass transit shutdowns, travel bans and zombie apocalypses, I learned that there are three guarantees in life: Death, taxes and the lights of 7-Eleven.
New Yorkers need to chill out about the winter
The throngs of people who emptied the 14th Street Trader Joe's, the man on 27th and Park crying about the storm who yelled, "Shut up" as I biked by, telling him to stop being a wuss, and everyone who acted like a blizzard was the end of the world need to chill out. We've had plenty of storms in this city, and you guys didn't share any "Escape From New York" fantasies then. Why start now? We're New Yorkers, and anyone NYC natives who went into panic mode over the weekend needs to think long and hard about what it means to live in this city.