If ever there was a day to WFCWP (work from couch without pants), it’s today. Storm Stella, which sounds super chic but is actually a total mess, has blown into New York and the Man Repeller offices have been closed for our safety and sanity. Schools have shut down. Above-ground trains aren’t running. The roads are empty. It’s the kind of blizzard that delights Californians like me — I would have sacrificed my modest Beanie Baby collection for a snow day growing up — and annoys the shit out of actual New Yorkers.
Since all of us at Man Repeller are snowed into our respective corners of New York City, we thought we’d give you a quick tour of our hoods as visited by the blizzard. Scroll down to see what we’re working with and read our very professional live-weather coverage!
Leandra, dispatch from the Bowery
Bowery Street spanning Houston to Great Jones is covered in ice, with fallen trash cans peppering the sidewalks. Hail is falling from the sky and, every few minutes, a handful of people can be found climbing through the slippery-ass snow to get, I don’t know, to the subway? To work? I’m currently wearing burgundy Uggs, the kind with side zippers. These are not the best choice given the sleet and hail. I slipped exactly six times on my way out here and fell three of those times.
Almost no shop is open. Not Think Coffee on Bleecker Street, Gasoline Alley on Mulberry Street or Siggy’s Good Food on Elizabeth. Pressed Juicery on Lafayette remains closed as well. The Bowery Hotel’s Gemma, however, is serving breakfast. Cherche Midi on Houston is not. But if you’re hungry in downtown New York and have nothing but yogurt and wine in your fridge, Whole Foods is open. I repeat: Whole Foods is open. If you’re craving $14 nuts, Dean & DeLuca on Prince Street remains open as well. (The wealth management branch at UBS, located in the Met Life building, is also open. I know this because Abie went to work at 8:15 a.m. this morning.)
Said a neighborhood doorman when I inquired about his commute, “It was really easy getting here. Nothing like that last month’s storm.” God speed.
Talk about a sunny day for penguins and polar bears here in the West Village! Yvonne and I were really BLOWN AWAY by the gusty winds — said to hit up to 55 MPH later — not to mention stabbed about a million times over and over by the shards of glass falling from the sky. But never fear! Toby’s Coffee on Charles is here and open and playing a soothing coffee-shop mix of your ex’s favorite indie bands, along with a shoe repair store on West 4th, Sant Ambroeus West Village and Lenny’s, which makes a mean bacon, egg and cheese. The streets are being plowed and a brave few are scraping sidewalks before the ice begins, but other than that it seems most WV residents are staying inside and learning how to use the stove for the first time. Over to you, Harling!
Harling, dispatch from Little Italy
Hello! Harling here, reporting live from the corner where Little Italy and Chinatown rub elbows. If you, too, are dead set on venturing out into the elements, I can’t recommend dressing like a dementor-on-the-top/sleepwalker-on-the-bottom highly enough. Everything is closed on my block, which is composed of 99% laundromats and 1% nightclubs. Visibility is poor, unless you enjoy the feeling of being stung by 1,000 bees.
Streets and sidewalks are barely clear, I repeat: barely clear. Be careful when you step back inside your building lobby because the soles of your boots will be covered in salt and you might slip and fall (total conjecture — this did not happen to me). Also, it is absolutely okay to use an umbrella in the snow, but be sure to peek out from underneath it once in awhile or you will likely collide with a passerby. This did happen to me, but I was the passerby.
Erica, dispatch from East Harlem
Yes, good morning, this is Erica, your wayyyy uptown correspondent, reporting live from the 120s. The “snow” has devolved into freezing rain just in time for me to step outside. The wind, while pretty erratic, is generally blowing in a southward direction directly into my face. A quick scan of the area shows that historically popular hangouts like The Bodega Across the Street, The Bodega Underneath My Building, and That One Stoop on 123rd are completely vacated (though open for business nonetheless if anyone is interested). I’m extremely happy to report that the church to my right looks particularly picturesque this morning. Down to you, Haley.
Haley, dispatch from Bushwick
Welcome to Bushwick, where our famously garbage-strewn streets are covered in a beautiful blanket of snow today. All rats and the feral cats hunting them have frozen mid-stride. My face, which wore a naive expression of joy when I initially stepped out of my building, was immediately pelted by hail, a stark contrast from the romantic flurry of snowflakes I expected. Pictured above, my inability to appear camera-ready like a real reporter.
The good news: The extremely overpriced Hana Natural Grocery remains open — just as the Yelp reviews I read last summer assured me — as does Wyckoff Starr, the Twin Peaks-themed coffee shop to its left. This particular corner of Bushwick is deserted save for the occasional caffeine addict or slow-ass driver, both of which can be spotted scaling the very middle of the street at a literally glacial pace.
Shari, reporting from Bed-Stuy
Bleak morning, people! This is Shari reporting live from Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn, home of the bravest. We are currently outside waiting for Stella to arrive. Perhaps she’s awaiting her groove. (Stella Got Her Groove Back reference. Paying homage to my girl Angela Bassett!) Moving on to the hair salon on the corner, which is still open — so if you need anything cut, fried or laid to the side while you are off today, hit them up and tell them I sent you. Over to you, Kate!
Kate, dispatch from Cobble Hill
Ground status: packed snow with sleet sprinkles. Currently walkable, but no one’s shoveling and the snow keeps switching between true snow and sleet, which means once the temp drops, it will be a hidden, icy slip-n-slide. Air status: Wet ice pellets and thundersnow that sounds like maybe it’s a subway until you realize it’s coming from the sky. I love thundersnow.
The coffee shop below me is open and so is the 24-hour fancy bodega, but everything else is closed and no one’s out. Last year, when we had a big snowstorm, the streets were full of kids with sleds and I had to tell an older man throwing snowballs that I would not find it at all fun or endearing if he threw one at me, but that neighborhood snowstorm magic is not out and about today.
Otherwise, the cats are thrilled that I’m working from home.
All photos provided by Team MR.