New York, NY - Avoiding Puddles New Yorkers Turn into Ballerinas
New York, NY - The city’s snow turned into a slushy danger zone for dry feet and clean clothes Friday, as pedestrians maneuvered through a gauntlet of melting drifts and puddles.
Some trekkers showcased the grace of a ballerina, effortlessly bounding over ankle-deep, bone-chilling puddles the size of ponds.
Others attacked the curbside snow banks like puzzle masters, circumspectly planning each step.
And a few, equipped with waterproof boots, forged right through the slushy mess, undeterred by the elements.
Javier Chavez, a dance student at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, said the awful conditions made for good after-school practice.
“In class, they tell us to leap as if there are puddles,” the 22-year-old said outside Lincoln Center.
“Most of the time, I leap over but sometimes I’m scared of slipping on the ice,” he added. “Yesterday I had no boots on, so I was constantly leaping.”
Marty Gonzalez, 49, a restaurant manager said the dark slush made it tough to judge the depth of puddles.
“You think it’s not very deep and then your whole foot goes in,” he said in midtown.
Wednesday’s snowfall blanketed the city with 19 inches. But by yesterday some of the melted snow had filled up potholes and curbs, making intersections tricky to cross. Clean-up crews also piled mounds of snow along sidewalks, forcing pedestrians to climb gingerly over them.
Some of the monster puddles are due to pesky potholes. The Department of Transportation said 311 had received more than 900 pothole-related complaints in January and has filled 38,000 in the last month.
At the southwest corner of Sixth Ave. and Walker St., a 7-foot long, 5-inch deep puddle gave pedestrians pause.
Financial analyst Tom Miller, 41, started to wade into it, but then decided on a different route.
“This is awful. I was going to try to walk through, but I don’t want to ruin my pants,” he said.
Harlem resident Louis Mendes said his secret for keeping warm was to wear low-cut rubber boots over his shoes and to search for dry spots of land.
“I just find an opening in the puddle,” he said as he slogged through the West Side. “I make sure my feet don’t get wet, and I always step over the water.”
But even boots had their drawbacks for some.
“Right now my feet are wet,” said Eva Greenwood, of Long Branch, N.J., walking along 34th St. “I’m wearing sneakers because my feet were sweating in my rubber boots.”
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