Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Weather Porn

This is a picture I took with my BlackBerry last week while traipsing, tipsy, through a blizzard at 11:30 pm, returning from an event at a club in the East Village.

I love the way the photo came out. It looks cozy, reminiscent of Olde New York with the sepia tone and soft lighting.

The building on the right is my apartment. I had taken the subway uptown from 14th Street after transferring from the L train. Emerging at 116th street, I encountered a magical snowy kingdom on the Columbia campus, students building snowmen, singing and dancing, running up and down the steps of Low Library, security men strolling and smiling.

One week and one blizzard later, the magic is completely gone.

Now, New York City is a sodden, dreary, depressing, sloshy, slushy, dangerous mess.

The snow, the cold, the very winter is boring beyond belief, a lecturer who cannot arrive at his point, a houseguest who cannot leave.

By now, everyone's shoes and boots look like crap. Everyone's hair is in a perpetual static frenzy. Everyone seems to be gaining weight, scarfing down baked goods.

Except for the exercise bulimics I see at Dodge Fitness Center.

Over the past two months, I have gone from a low-carb diet to a mega-carb diet, eating foodstuffs I have shunned for the better part of a decade. Today I ate a cream puff at the Starbuck Espresso Cafe at the 82nd Street Barnes and Noble and a bag of Dipsy Doodles a few hours later.

Reader, I used to observe a macrobiotic diet.

I thank God fervently each time I walk across the Columbia campus to my class because the journey takes 3 minutes max from the moment I leave my apartment building to the time I cross the threshold of the J School building.

I feel sorry for any of my fellow students who have to shlep from, say, 113th street. Or farther beyond.

Everyone is in a crummy mood. I got into an ugly war of words with a woman who stole a cab from me outside of Fairway. Books, films and theatre seems irrelevant. No one but no one paid attention to the fact that today was Groundhog Day. At this moment, the only thing that keeps New Yorkers from feeling overly-victimized is the crisis in Egypt...and news from other cities and states and continents where weather conditions are worse.

There's nothing to say anymore.

Therefore, I propose an escapist concept: Weather Porn.

That's right. Fantasizing while gazing at photographs of beautiful summer scenes.

Tough times call for creative solutions. It is time to abandon that romantic notion of seasonal fidelity and explore scenarios of glorious summer days, sandy beaches, sunburns, heat rising off the pavement, sleeveless dresses, shorts, tank tops, sandals, sweat pouring between one's breasts.

It is time to break one's commitment to the winter and surrender to the impulse to fetishize the superiority of sunshine, warm breezes, long days, high temperatures and UV rays.

So, allow me to be a Weather Porn Wingman.

In order to fuel one's fantasies, the Internet offers a plethora of pictures.

Choose your search engine and punch in the proper keywords. Once you master this method, I recommend checking out the videos on YouTube.

I have collected some images to get you started. Warning: these might not be safe for work as they might cause you to board the next plane outta here...assuming flights are taking off from local airports.