Valentine to a snowy day in New York
NEW YORK (ACNI) – This is already shaping up to be a winter for the record books in New York. As Mayor Michael Bloomberg confirmed in a press conference yesterday, the city has already had 36 inches of snow in the month of January, breaking a record set 86 years ago. The most recent storm to pass through Gotham brought with it as much as 19 inches of new snow, calling for cancellations of city schools and many businesses.
While not everyone on LiveAuctioneers’ Manhattan-based staff greets the snow with unbridled joy, there’s one person in the building who always views a snowy landscape in a positive light – our CEO, Julian R. Ellison. While everyone else is grousing about the weather and trying to find ways to stay out of it, he’s busily bundling up and plowing right through the white stuff to shoot some pics.
We asked Julian if he would put his thoughts to paper and reveal what it is about winter that buoys his spirits and inspires him to capture scenes of a snow-blanketed Manhattan with a camera. Here are his observations:
“There’s snow and then there’s snow, and last night we had snow – lots of it! I only recently returned from a ho-ho-ho fattening-up at the family homestead in England, where I’d managed to pull together my family for a reunion that included 13 children (cousins) for the first time under one roof. My ears are still ringing!
Lately, all the chatter back home has been about the world press coverage of a remarkable gorilla at the Port Lympne Wild Animal Park – three miles away from the house where I grew up – who can walk on two legs. There’s no explaining it, and some naysayers are suggesting it’s just a man in a gorilla suit, but whatever it is, it’s given us something more interesting to read about than politicians and inflation. Here’s a link to a video clip so you can see for yourself. http://www.aspinallfoundation.org/news/view/460
It wasn’t until I got back to my hometown Manhattan that I found myself wondering why it is that in places like London and Paris you can practically eat off the streets, yet in the biggest metropolis in the world, New York, there is rubbish everywhere and rats running amok with Starbucks coffee in one paw and a bagel in the other. ‘Is it just me,’ I ask myself, ‘or has it been getting slowly worse over the last few years? Is it really that difficult for us to figure out?’ The reason I mention this is because I was gearing up to write a story about this topic and to have a good old rant, when along came a fabulous snowstorm that covered New York in a cleansing blanket of soft, crisp, white snow.
We’ve had snow off and on for the last month or so, but nothing like last night. This morning I got up and ran to the window like an excited child to see how deep the snow was. I wasn’t disappointed. I hurriedly put on my man-tights and ran down to the garage to get the Green Goddess out – my trusty (not rusty) Land Rover Defender 90, the perfect tool for this kind of weather, being both practical and huge fun. I decided I was going to get out and look for trouble – I don’t mean make trouble, but look for damsels in distress trying to get their cars out of the deep snow. Perhaps I could be of assistance? All that was missing was a St. Bernard and a flask of brandy.
As it happened, everyone I came across had it all under control. New Yorkers are the most resourceful and resilient bunch. In New York you get up, get out, and get on with it.
I don’t think I’ve been more excited about a day in ages. After breakfast I took members of my family and friends to Central Park. We all jumped into the Land Rover and headed up town to 75th and Fifth – The Hill! The kids had their sleds and I had my camera. Oh boy, what an amazing scene with all the people, young and old, on The Hill – the fantastic colors, the sounds of children and adults alike, shouting with joy. It reminded me of a Lowry painting.
New York is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and it has the power to knock you down and pick you up all at the same time. I fell in and out of love all in one week. Today I love her, and I’m looking forward to what she’ll bring me tomorrow, but please, please can we keep her clean. I have friends coming from across The Pond next week, and they don’t use plates.”
Our thanks to Julian Ellison for sharing his observations of a snowy day in Manhattan, which we have illustrated with some of his own photos and a few appropriate paintings.
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ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Bo Tillmanns-Ellison (left), daughter of LiveAuctioneers CEO Julian R. Ellison, shows promise as a future Formula 1 driver as she races down the hill with her friend Bowen. Photo by Julian R. Ellison.