Remember Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first winter in his new job? What a difference a couple of years makes.
Hit with a snowstorm shortly after taking office in 2014, the new mayor fumbled in a way that would come to define the first half of his term. Potholes went unfilled. Official warnings on the storm’s severity were muddled. Residents in neighborhoods that didn’t vote for de Blasio complained that their streets weren’t being plowed -- a suspicion that was later proven out by sanitation-truck GPS data.
This time around, an entirely new de Blasio seemed to be in charge. Before the storm, he was forceful, but not panicked. Instead of jumping the gun and closing subways or schools, he waited for the storm to develop, then acted decisively. We even detected a sense of humor in it all.
We don’t want to give him more credit than is due, but there was something about this storm that seemed to bring out the best of New Yorkers, not stoke their cynicism.
On Sunday, the Day After, much of the city took on the feel of an alpine village. Cross-country skiers plied the parks, people in snow boots and parkas ordered hot chololates, kids came home with sunburned faces after a day of sleddding.
There were pockets of discontent. Queens residents, for instance, felt that the plow trucks somehow bypassed them, and elected officials there said they thought the schools should have stayed closed for another day.
For overall, considering we had just endured the second-biggest snowstorm in our history, it was a lovely little chapter for the mayor and his subjects. And just think: there are only two more months of winter to go.