Six in the City, revisited by
(85 Stories)

Prompted By Snowy Days

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The first time I saw snow was the year my family lived in Manhattan. My sister and I attended elementary school across the street from our building.  We’d bundle up in our new winter coats, pants, mittens, and boots. Just one winter: getting used to the smell of wet things drying on the radiator, taking turns being freezing and hot. I  remember you had to switch the car from one side of the street to the other. One day the Irish cop told my dad, “Not today, sir. Don’t ya know it’s TuBiShvat?” At least, that’s the story he told.




A longer version of this story was published here

Characterizations: funny, well written


  1. Dave Ventre says:

    I grew up just across the Bay from Manhattan, and remember news tidbits like “alternate side of the street has been suspended.”

  2. Suzy says:

    Love the idea of the Irish cop telling your Jewish father that it was Tu Bishvat! And that this would be an important enough holiday to suspend alternate side parking rules.

    P.S. Just went back and read the original story. In that one, the Irish cop said it was Tisha B’av. Tisha B’av is in the summer, and Tu Bishvat is in the winter, so if it was connected to a snowy day, it would have been Tu Bishvat.

    • Risa Nye says:

      Good catch, Suzy! Hey, I was six–lucky I remembered anything from that time. Honestly, it could’ve been either one!I should’ve checked my original post first for consistency. One more thing: on our drive to New York, my dad quizzed us on the states and their capitals. Little wise guy that I was, when he said Illinois I called out “Elohenu!” Let’s see who else gets it!

  3. Marian says:

    Wow, Risa, that photo is similar to mine in a number of ways, except I was in the suburbs. Looking forward to reading the longer story.

  4. Fun story Risa!

    As we New Yorkers know, the city publishes an annual Parking Calendar listing all the holidays – familiar and obscure – when alternative side of the street and metered parking is suspended.

    Every doorman is savvy about it, and for those poor souls who depend on street parking it’s a bible!

  5. Khati Hendry says:

    Cute story. I laughed out loud at the “Illinois Elohenu”—even better.

  6. Betsy Pfau says:

    Wonderful and spot-on excerpt from your longer piece (I really enjoyed that as well) about your one year in NYC and encounters with snow. Your comment about the smell of wet clothing on the radiator brings up a vivid sensation. The Irish cop’s comment about street parking and the Jewish holiday is so funny. A charming recollection from your 6-year-old self.

  7. Laurie Levy says:

    Alternate street parking is still a thing where I live. It’s probably a big money maker for the city. I read your longer story and it was such a beautiful description of life in NYC through the eyes of a young girl from CA. So many of your images resonated with me. Thanks for sharing it.

  8. I guess the Retro hierarchy timed this story well for you, because last night was tu’B’ishvat!
    I love any reference to alternate-side parking. It adds local flavor like almost no other detail can.

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