There is nowhere for the snow to go. The neighborhoods here were not built for blizzards: narrow sidewalks hem small front yards and the occasional slender driveway runs through to an alley garage. The snowplows have been hard at work on the main arteries of the town and the roads to the hospital, and the campus groundskeepers are doing their best with miniature snowblowers, but half the city still looks post-apocalyptic. Huge drifts of snow bury cars, clog sidewalks, and flood streets.
Despite all this, the mood, at least in my neighborhood, is one of holiday cheer. Neighbors who'd never met before helped each other dig out cars and cut channels through the drifts. The Italian grocery reopened today and bunches of people stood outside, around snowy tables or in the middle of the street, enjoying the sunshine and cups of steaming coffee. Resourceful parents and grandparents strode by on cross-country skis, towing gleeful children in their wake. Up at the Divinity School, the steep hills were littered with plastic lids, trays, cardboard, and the occasional proper sled. Occasionally, a car tried to forge its way down Orange Street, churning up clouds of soft powder.
School is cancelled tomorrow, but my job isn't. The classics department is hosting prospectives this week, and we're going to try to convince them to come live in New Haven. I'm going to point out that the last time we had this much snow was in 1978.