Above Freezing, And Other Tales

I landed in London yesterday morning, immensely grateful to be out of New York.

In case I have not made it abundantly clear, I hate the cold.  And when you hate the cold, 10C feels like summer compared to consistently sub-freezing temperatures and piles of dirty, frozen snow.

(Why do you cite temperature in Celsius? someone asked me recently, with a weird scowl on her face, as if she was calling me out for Trying Too Hard)

(Because in January alone, I was in five different countries, and if the weather reports in the places I travel are to mean anything at all to me, I should probably be fluent in how that news is delivered? I replied, trying to sound Not Annoyed, but my voice clearly rose into a question mark at the end, daring her to challenge my logic.)

(Why do Americans think other Americans are being snobbish when they do things that aren’t obviously American? As if speaking in unfamiliar units of distance or temperature is pretentious or somehow treasonous, when in reality, it’s a measure of self-preservation.)


It is a fairly well-documented fact that emergency room admissions for interpersonal violence increase on the hottest nights of the year.  The weather has the opposite effect on me.  The colder it gets, the more hostile I get.  The heat lulls me into a dreamy, drowsy, happy state.  The humidity makes me a little cranky, but I am still docile.  I can’t really describe why the cold does to me what it does, but it shakes me at my core; makes me feel as if I will snap.

I am so tired of New York right now.  I am tired of winter.  I am tired of the dirty, frozen snow, and the brackish, icy ponds of street-slush that appear ankle-deep but are really more of a mid-calf situation.  I am exhausted of the landlords who don’t shovel, and the salt-shortage, and the New Mayor who is trying to start some sort of class war by not plowing uptown — particularly the streets around Mayor Mike’s brownstone.

London was a welcome change, tube strike notwithstanding.

So I landed at Heathrow, and I napped, and then I went for a Long Run in the Park in the Afternoon-into-Evening.

There are few greater joys in the dead of winter than running in a place where the grass is still green — even if that greenness is only the difference of 10 degrees Celsius above freezing.  And there are few things lovelier than the late afternoon sunlight in Hyde Park, as the sun dips behind Kensington Palace.


I ran for miles and miles.

Generally, I am a big believer in the idea that one cannot/should not run away from one’s problems, and that one must sit through the suck.

But sometimes, it’s not just distance one needs from one’s problems; sometimes, it’s perspective.  Occasionally, perspective is one of temperature.  Sometimes, a girl just needs to thaw out a little before she can be or do or see any good.

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