Specifically, the difference in weather patterns between two states. Specifically, the difference in weather patterns between the states of New York and New Jersey, which would be territorially joined at the hip if it weren’t for the Hudson River.
Specifically…well, let me tell you a tiny little story:
A number of years ago, in a state of excitement I got on a bus at the Port Authority Terminal in New York City. The terminal covers a couple of blocks in the west of the city, a couple of blocks from the aforementioned Hudson River.
I was heading to Englewood, New Jersey — around 24 driving miles, or maybe 3 miles as the seagull flies. That is not far. The bus takes around 40 minutes, depending on what’s going on in the Lincoln Tunnel.
I was excited because I was going to meet my niece, Becca, who’d been born less than 24 hours earlier, for the first time.
Large, wet flakes of snow were falling in New York City. Nothing was sticking.
By the time we emerged from the tunnel in Jersey, we were in a major snowstorm. Major.
Standing in knee-deep snow while waiting for the bus back to New York (she was a tiny thrill, sporting a little pink cap), I first started wondering why the weather patterns just a few miles apart were so radically different.
I don’t know.
A few weeks ago, four of us high school friends made a date for today to gather at the (New Jersey) home of one of us for lunch. Maybe even in her garden. (It is spring, after all).
The three of us who live in New York City were intending to take a bus from Port Authority. It would be a half hour trip.
This morning, our Jersey friend emailed us. She’d just been out to clear the 4 or so inches of snow off her car, said it was still snowing like mad, and suggested we move our lunch to another day.
I looked out my window. There was indeed snow on the tops of cars but nothing on the ground. And nothing falling.
We’re having lunch this Sunday. Unless Jersey is hit by an irresponsible weather pattern that bears no relationship to the one outside my building.
Maybe by then I’ll google “why are NJ and NY weather patterns so different?” and will learn something. Maybe not.
UPDATE 4/3/2018: Becca (referred to above but now somewhat bigger than a new-born) put this picture on Facebook. It’s near where she lives in New Jersey just before I wrote this post. No picture of New York because it was just…New York with some white on top of cars.