That is the sentiment of weather weary New Yorkers who have had it up to their mufflers with frigid temps, icy streets, oceans at intersections and cramped, unpredictable commutes.
The relentless whip of winter — which is set to sock us with more snow today and again this weekend — has also slashed incomes and added agita to an already beleaguered population.
“I’m sick of this cold weather! I can’t wait until this is over!” exclaimed Bernard Bailey, 37, of Harlem. Bailey and his colleague, Jermaine Robinson, 37, of Bed Stuy, work on commission recruiting passengers for Skyline Sightseeing tours on midtown sidewalks. They get $15 per head on a $45 fare, but few people tarry to hear their spiels about the glories of the tours they’re touting when the mercury won’t move. “Tourists don’t want to be out in this,” much less sit on the top deck of a moving double decker bus, said Robinson. During snow storms, neither he nor Bailey work at all. “I can’t wait until it gets warm,” Robinson said.
“I’m so over this, it’s crazy,” fumed Bailey.
But maybe a truly authentic “New York” experience is being held hostage by snow-related transportation problems. “I can deal with it, but this is one too many snowstorms,” said Michael Gardner, 42, an MTA bus dispatcher, about the storm forcasted to hit early Wednesday. Buses are more prone to mechanical problems in extreme weather: “We put chains on them, but they still get stuck and the chains pop off,” said Gardner, who lives in Harlem. Rear tires on long, articulated buses are particularly susceptible to spinning endlessly over ice without gaining traction, he continued. “Our biggest concern is maintaining service. In that big snow storm two weeks ago? The buses got stuck in the ice. I was missing buses for two to three hours!”
Gardner keeps warm by donning long johns and extra jackets, supplemented with frequent swills of coffee, “but the cold still bites through,” he conceded.
When Luis Zabala, 26, a security guard, goes home to the Bronx each night after patrolling outdoors all day long,”I don’t want to go out,” he said. Normally, he visits friends and restaurants on weekends, but lately all he wants to do is stay warm and watch “CSI: NY.” “I’ve saved a couple of dollars,” from being a homebody, he rationalized. Zabala has learned that wearing a pair of rubber gloves under regular gloves, works sort of like a neoprene scuba suit: “You sweat, and it holds in the heat!” he noted cheerfully.
Bad weather “makes you run late: You get to work later,” said John Kosior, 50, a Bensonhurst electrician whose Monday D train commute was held up for 20 minutes. But Kosior rationalized the recent hardships as meriting a reward to come. “We’ve been lucky for the last few years and last winter was warm,” said Kosior. “Maybe we won’t have any mosquitos this summer: Several nights of zero temperatures has to kill them.”