Snow in the city is a special kind of magic. The blanket of white covers shiny high-rise apartment buildings and crusty elevated subway tracks. It falls over libraries and busses, architecture marvels and housing projects, streets and sidewalks. It gifts snow hats to streetlights, sledding hills to eager children, and sometimes a day off school! Winter weather can be as treacherous as it is magical, though, and when the city bands together in the wake of a snowstorm, it’s even more beautiful than the Instagrams!
Though snow makes its appearance in each city differently, we can pitch in to help the universal needs of the city and make the snow and cold more manageable.
Shovel your sidewalks. Most cities require that sidewalks be cleared by the property owner or occupants of the adjacent building. Clearing them off means the city’s most important thoroughfare is back in working order and makes conditions safer for everyone. But be careful as you shovel snow — keep yourself warm and avoid over-exertion!
Check in on your neighbors. Do you have neighbors who are unable to easily get in and out of home? Offer help to those you know who are elderly, new parents, or disabled by shoveling their snow or steps or bringing groceries or supplies. Neighborliness can go a long way if the winter weather is particularly fierce.
Be generous to the homeless. Take notice of homeless or displaced people when you’re out and about. Ask if they’re okay, buy them a warm drink, or see if need help getting to a shelter. Be mindful of warming stations, shelters, and food banks nearby, and stay informed about your city’s services for transporting and supporting the homeless. Most cities offer information on these services with a simple phone call to 311. Giving to the homeless and displaced is especially important during the cold winter months.
Keep your pets safe too! Pets are important members of the family and can also suffer from cold temperatures. Keep them warm and happy and they just might help keep you cozy in return.
Be a nice person. No one likes the train delays, heavy traffic, and inconveniences that come with winter weather, and there’s no need to add poor manners to the mix. Muster up some extra patience and consideration as you brave the elements alongside your city neighbors.
When the city bands together in the wake of a snowstorm, it’s even more beautiful than the Instagrams!
Whether it arrives quiet and unannounced or blasting warnings across the region, the arrival of snow is a thing of beauty and an important time for our cities to band together. Making the best of the snowstorm can be as simple as being neighborly and checking in on your fellow citizens! When the snow comes to our cities, let’s extend our neighborliness as wide as the snowfall. ❄❄