Flickr photos by ralph and jenny
With the season's first major snowstorm bearing down on NYC, it's not a bad idea to pick up a good set of earplugs today so you can sleep through the snowplows banging their way down your street tonight.
And if Superstorm Sandy didn't prompt you to sign up for emergency alerts from the city, you might want to click on over to Notify NYC and subscribe for text, email or phone alerts just in case things get out of hand.
Here's the rest of the drill as far as the practicalities--and niceties--of a NYC snow day.
If you live in a NYC apartment building, you're probably off the hook as far as manual labor, since shoveling is included in your maintenance charges/common charges/rent. (Exception: You live in a self-managed co-op/condo where residents are expected to pitch in.)
Even if you don't have to hoist a shovel yourself, it's always nice to offer a warm thank you and perhaps a steaming cup o' joe to the staff battling the elements on your behalf.
"On snow days where the staff spends most of the day outside cleaning, I'll usually buy the guys lunch, and believe me that goes a long way," resident manager Joseph Shkreli told BrickUnderground one recent winter. "It's not the point that they don't have to buy lunch that day. It is the appreciation that they feel that they have received for their hard work."
In possession of your very own brownstone? If it's a fabulous townhouse with a radiant heated sidewalk with auto snow sensor, you have no problems whatsoever.
But if you own a regular run-of-the-mill brownstone, remember to shovel and salt appropriately as defined by these city guidelines. You might also take a moment today to make sure your insurance is up to date.
"Home insurance will cover you if you are sued by a pedestrian who falls on a sidewalk--even if you didn't fully shovel and salt it," says insurance broker Jeff Schneider of Gotham Brokerage.
Indoor and outdoor etiquette
Tip extra-generously for any deliveries received.
When you take your dog out for an expeditious piece of business, remember that blizzards are no excuse for "forgetting" to clean up after your pooch. It's also good form to yellow the snow at a respectful distance from your building's awning. Your doorman and neighbors will thank you.
On your way back in, brush the snow off your dog and stamp your boots outside before heading through the lobby. If you leave your slushy boots outside your front door to dry, bring them in the next day--not next week.
Wondering whether you still have to pay your nanny if she takes a snow day? The answer is "maybe." (More on that here.)
Digging out your car the day after
Alternate side of the street parking is suspended through Sunday, but so is your car if it's buried in snow. If you're lucky enough to find someone else to dig it out, expect to pay around $20-$25 if the snow is still fresh (the easiest kind to remove) in a medium-sized storm. Double that if you wait until the snow has hardened into an icy vise around your vehicle.