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Sledding In NYC: SOL 11

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The snow fell hard all day. School did not dismiss early and the walk home was treacherous for short legs and heavy backpacks. We met at the 86th street bus stop, my two brothers and I, between Lexington and Park. We headed up Park Avenue. 

Every so often--more than I would have liked--the two of them dropped their bags, gathered snow into cold small hands and hurled snowballs at passing taxis daring them to stop and yell. "C'mon boys," I would say, "We need to get home." They laughed and hooted and hollered. White snow falling in New York is fantastic. The magical snow piles up like meringue on a lemon pie and we knew it would be gray slush by morning. 

We made it home in time for 4 o'clock tea with mother. She sat in the living room with a huge tray full of sugary tea, buttery crumpets, juicy orange slices, and small pieces of dark chocolate. Afterwards we did our homework and then had dinner. 

At 8 o'clock my mother looked out the 5th floor window and said, "does anyone know where the sleds are?" My stepfather said he could get at them in the basement storage bin, "why?" "There is a driving ban tonight," my mother said. "Let's go sledding!" We raced to get our snow boots and pants, gloves and hats on. The elevator man brought us down. He smiled when he saw us, "I was wondering if you were going to take advantage of the snow." We screamed, "Yahoo! Yes!" My mother said "shhh," but she smiled as well. We raced through the lobby and out the front doors where we stopped and looked around. 

It was silent. Not a car, not a horn, not the wind whistling by. It was a New York City we didn't know very well. The streetlights glowed and showed shadows of snow coming down. The red, yellow, and green of the stoplight glared on the snow. We put our sleds down at the top of Park Avenue that night..1...2...3 sleds lined up. Then we three grabbed hands, jumped on our sleds, and sailed down the middle of the city, just my brothers and me.


  1. I so enjoyed sharing in this day with you. I could visualize all of it. Beyond wonderful.

  2. It is a lovely piece, and I too could picture the driving ban in NYC and the excitement. The afternoon tea...thanks for a lovely read this morning.

  3. Your slice was a delightful way to start my morning. You created that magical snowy moment so beautifully--balancing action, dialogue and description. Your ending line is perfect -- "Then we three grabbed hands, jumped on our sleds, and sailed down the middle of the city, just my brothers and me."

  4. Sailing
    down the middle of the city,
    the road becomes our Milky Way
    and we, the intrepid explorers,
    riding stars
    into the night.

    Far from the eyes
    of adults and
    beyond the scope
    of reality,
    we let imagination take root
    so that our stories smooth out
    every bump and crevasse
    as we glide silently
    into the unknown world.

    --Kevin, lifting a line for comment. Have a great day!

  5. You are a master storyteller! Phrases I love: "short legs and heavy backpacks," "magical snow piles up like meringue on a lemon pie," "It was a New York City we didn't know very well."

  6. Love this image of you as a child embracing life with open arms. Much like you do today.

  7. What Margaret said, plus I LOVE the way you wove little but important details in (what you had for tea, the way the snow looked) to make this slice such a delight. Plus, plus - this is a picture book!

  8. I moved to Manhattan as an adult so I never had the chance to sled there. (I actually lived in your old neighborhood -- 87th and 3rd!)

    I echo what Chris said, your storytelling is magical!

  9. Magical for you as a kid. For us as your readers.


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