Boston is one of my favorite places, but what ever have you done to deserve this incredibly snowy fate? If I turn on my TV and there are not a bunch of CNN reporters up to their arses in Boston snow I figure something is wrong. (Interestingly these usually include Rosa Flores and Miguel Marquez – is there an assignment editor with a sense of humor who figures the Latinos should report on blizzards?) Like Montreal, you are a winter city, but even winter cities have their limits. Meteorological reports are calling for yet another substantial dump of snow for your area later this week.
Why Boston? You won the Super Bowl in a rather dramatic and much talked about manner. Could it be some sort of Seattle curse that has been visited upon your city? Nope, no worries there as that would most likely involve vast amounts of coffee and you have already handled both a Tea Party and a tsunami of molasses.
Your Bruins have lost all four regular season games to my Canadiens, but that should not bring record snow as punishment, even if I frankly believe the Bruins are playing possum (opossum?) and will rise to the task (Rask?) should the teams meet in the playoffs, a virtual rite of spring for many of us.
We can debate why this winter has been so wicked in New England until the snow melts – well, maybe no one could be expected to do that. But more important is how to deal with the situation. I saw on television that there are numerous “snow farms” around the city. Why with all that fallen snow you would want to grow more on farms is a mystery to me. Melting the snow must be done carefully lest flooding result. Dumping it in the river is one short-term solution, but remember all that urban snow that has been collected from the streets of Boston is far from pure. Salt and god knows what chemicals that are used to keep streets passable end up in the snow. We used to blow the snow onto lawns and parks until the grass started dying from the chemicals.
The mayor asked citizens to lend a hand by digging out fire hydrants. The first problem many of the well-intentioned citizens encountered was finding the hydrants in the first place so they could dig them out. This is where I felt a pang of disappointment. As a snow city Boston should know that even with an average amount of snow, hydrants will soon become buried. The solution is simple: long poles attached to hydrants allow for easy sighting even during a snowstorm.
These poles can be attached during the summer and left, providing a clear view of all-important fire hydrants even after a major snowfall.
Of course if there are no poles, a little improvisation goes a long way. Part of me wants to point out that by the end of April the Bruins will have no need of their hockey-sticks, and they could be put to use. But another part of me believes in hockey gods, and understands that would be tempting fate!