Good morning on this warming Thursday.
We survived the thundersnow, but now comes the slush. For updated information on your commute, check the schedules for the subway, Metro-North, Long Island Rail Road, New Jersey Transit and NYC Ferry before heading out.
Do you want to build a snowman?
Do it while you still can.
Up to 26 inches of snow fell in some areas, enough to sculpt a frosty friend, but this season, we’ve had only one other snow substantial enough to even entertain the idea.
“The snowman can be a symbol of global climate change and how serious it’s gotten,” said the snowman expert Bob Eckstein, author of “The History of the Snowman.” (“The Illustrated History of the Snowman,” an update of the original, will be on bookshelves in September.)
“How many more times will we all get a chance to make a snowman in New York City? You don’t know now.”
Mr. Eckstein, a New Yorker cartoonist, has spent years traversing the world investigating snowman mysteries, including who made the first snowman and who thought to use a carrot as a nose.
Though much evidence has melted, the earliest trace he could find was at the Royal Library at The Hague — an illustration in the margins of a manuscript dated 1380. With the help of historians and archaeologists, Mr. Eckstein became convinced that snowman-making was an activity that we share with our prehistoric ancestors.
“People are under the impression that cave men always made cave paintings, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “It was the best way to preserve their artwork, so that’s the only artwork we have left to see.”
The snowman was a serious symbol in the Middle Ages, Mr. Eckstein discovered, an early form of pornography or political commentary at a time when most people could not read or write. During the Miracle of 1511, an enormous storm in Brussels, “it snowed, and it was like art supplies dropped on everyone’s doorstep,” he said. Locals sculpted provocative scenes dealing with sex and political angst with the government and the church.
These elaborate snow scenes evolved into fine art during the medieval era and later, with the help of Michelangelo (who in 1494 sculpted a snowman for the courtyard of the Medici Palace in Florence), Larkin Meade (who in 1856 created a world-famous snow angel in Vermont) and other artists.
(Mr. Eckstein, though, is no fan of Frosty, whom he cites as one reason the art of making snowmen is, in modern times, “not really considered with much respect.”)
Now he fears that rising temperatures are putting the very pastime in danger. “The snowman is like the duck-billed platypus of global warming,” he said.
He wondered: Will Times Square panhandlers dressed as characters from “Frozen” be among the last snowmen we’ll see in New York City?
Here’s what else is happening:Weather
It’s the calm after the storm: mostly sunny skies with a high around 44.
There’s a small chance of flurries this evening and tomorrow morning, but once we’re in the clear, we’ll have a glowing weekend.In the News
• It’s International Women’s Day. “Overlooked,” which we’re introducing today, shares the stories of women who never received obituaries in our newspaper. [New York Times]
• While many people were still recovering, a second nor’easter slammed the region, crippling transportation and frustrating travelers heading in all directions. [New York Times]
• After news broke that the actress Cynthia Nixon might run for governor, Andrew M. Cuomo denigrated her as a second-tier celebrity who had been egged on by Mayor Bill de Blasio. [New York Times]
• If your Uber cost an extra $50, would you still take it? [New York Times]
• New York City appointed its first night-life mayor. [New York Times]
• A Yale college student was found not guilty of rape, in one of the few campus sex assault cases to be tried in court. [New York Times]
• Mayor de Blasio promised to better diversify New York City’s elite high schools. That has not yet happened. [New York Times]
• Next time you visit the Met, wear your best Yankee cap, as it may be identification enough to gain you in-state admission into the museum. [New York Times]
• In a bout of the rare weather phenomenon known as thundersnow during yesterday’s nor’easter, a New Jersey teacher was struck by lightning outside the middle school where she works. [NBC New York]
• The New York Police Department offered some theories on why many marijuana arrests occur in neighborhoods of color. The statistics disagreed. [The Lo-Down]
• In the latest of rising buildings in Williamsburg, a residential tower will be built adjoining the iconic Dime Savings Bank. [Bklyner]
• Today’s Metropolitan Diary: “Touch of Home on Wall Street”
• For a global look at what’s happening, see Your Morning Briefing.Coming Up Today
• Explore the wares of the book dealers at the Antiquarian Book Fair, through Sunday, at the Park Avenue Armory on the Upper East Side. 5 to 9 p.m. [$25 to $60]
• An evening of live Beatles music at the Tompkins Square Library in the East Village. 6 p.m. [Free]
• Celebrate International Women’s Day at the opening of “Women in the Heights: Resistance,” an exhibition by female artists of northern Manhattan, at Rio II Gallery in Harlem. 6:30 p.m. [Free]
• Bring on the Bard. The New York Shakespeare convention kicks off with theatrical performances, music and workshops through Sunday at the Center at West Park on the Upper West Side. 7 p.m. [$20]
• Nets at Hornets, 7 p.m. (YES). Devils host Jets, 7 p.m. (MSG+). Rangers at Lightning, 7:30 p.m. (MSG). Islanders at Oilers, 9 p.m. (MS+2).
• Alternate-side parking is suspended for snow removal.
• For more events, see The New York Times’s Arts & Entertainment guide.And Finally...
Building a snowman (or snowwoman) isn’t the only activity New Yorkers enjoy during a snowstorm. During yesterday’s storm, we asked readers for some of their favorite snow day rituals.
“A snow day is an excuse for carbs, so put me down as baking. (Hey, shivering burns calories, right?) On the menu: buttermilk pancakes for my husband and later a super fudgy chocolate cake.”
— Jean Goldsmith, 65, Westchester, N.Y.
“We lived in Pasadena, Calif., before moving to New York City with our small boys. Due to their lack of experience with blizzards, my 4-year-old convinced my 2-year-old to look out the window for falling lizards. After two winters of this ritual, they still haven’t found any.”
— Tara Hayward, 34, Park Slope, Brooklyn
“My favorite one is sneaking my dog, a 9-year-old Airedale, into the co-op playground so she can jump around and play in the snow. Dog snow angels are the best.”
— Pamela Detrow, 65, Washington Heights
“Anytime we have gotten a snow day where we can work from home, my roommate and I blast the song “Work From Home” by Fifth Harmony and kick off the day with a 7:30 a.m. dance party. It brings back the type of snow day excitement you had as a kid.”
— Emily Roy, 26, Alphabet City, Manhattan
“If it’s an overnight storm (because cloud coverage is necessary) I’ll take a 2 or 3 a.m. stroll. The world is quiet, but aglow. The snow on the ground combined with the milky sky produce an eerie night-but-bright feeling that is otherworldly.”
— Mark A. Singh, 26, Astoria, Queens
New York Today is a morning roundup that is published weekdays at 6 a.m. If you don’t get it in your inbox already, you can sign up to receive it by email here.
For updates throughout the day, like us on Facebook.
What would you like to see here to start your day? Post a comment, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach us via Twitter using #NYToday.
Follow the New York Today columnists, Alexandra Levine and Jonathan Wolfe, on Twitter.
You can find the latest New York Today at nytoday.com.