Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow and Slush in the Old World

I am in College Point, Queens, where the elderly, Mediterranean natives are brandishing shovels and screaming at each other about a mysterious, five-foot-high pile of ice and snow on one side of the street. A Sanitation Dept. payloader, working its way through the neighborhood, created the pile last night, and one neighbor suspects the other of deliberately telling the driver to pile the snow on her side of the street. She suspects this was done so that the flow of water along the curb would be blocked, creating a small cesspool of dirty, melted snow in front of the her house (not to mention the many other homes on that side of the street).

That's how it works here. My family once spent several years without speaking to the other family that lives in our building because there had been a fight over grass clippings from one tiny backyard ending up in the other.

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