Ever wondered how we city-dwellers deal with a storm? In many ways, the same way everyone else does: fighting over peanut butter at the store and dusting off shovels. But street parking and apartment living add a little flair to our storm experience. Here’s what you need to know to survive a storm in Boston.
1. Don’t drive for a few days before hand
At least in Southie, whatever parking spot you have at the start of the storm will be “your” spot for approximately six weeks after. You will shovel it out (or perhaps kick on the four-wheel drive and bounce over the snow banks) , drop some old furniture in it, and mark it as yours for the rest of the winter.
This is your one shot to get that parking space out front you’ve always dreamed of! Choose a sunny day leading up to the storm, come home at noon when no one is around and take your pick. Then walk or take the subway for the next few days.
2. Stock up on essentials
The grocery stores will be mobbed, so come prepared with sharp elbows and no mercy. Try to ignore that there may be someone else who wants one of those twenty jars of mayonnaise in your cart, because there’s a storm coming and damnit you’ll make deviled eggs if you want to!
If a news crew stops you out front, I suggest you offer a quote like the woman interviewed outside my local stop and shop during a boil water order. She had more water than she could possibly consume and told the reporter “I made sure I got all this before anyone else got any!” Trust me, the neighbors will find this just charming.
3. Make it clear to everyone that you hate your life
If you didn’t hate your life, you wouldn’t be Tweeting every five minutes that you hope all of your obligations are cancelled. Sporting events, concerts, classes, work, shut it all down! Snow gods, help a lazy person out!
Once your fingers are sufficiently crossed, wait for Mayor Menino to declare a snow emergency. If that doesn’t have people calling you saying “don’t come in tomorrow!”, give it time. If you’re lucky they will announce that they’re planning to shut down the subway.
4. Make fun of people
This is an area where you can be pretty creative. Feel free to keep it classic: Why is everyone freaking out about this storm Bostonians are supposed to be tough I stayed outside for the blizzard of ’78 toughen up everybody!! Bonus points if you use this line while waiting for the cashier with your 20 jars of mayonnaise.
If you want to spice it up a little, try one of these: making fun of people who put their snow day recipes on Facebook, making fun of people who don’t have appropriate snow gear, making fun of people whose cars are getting towed because they didn’t hear about the parking ban.
This is related to number three. If people haven’t started cancelling yet, make sure they know a storm is coming. For instance, if you work at a private school, as soon as you hear Boston Public Schools have decided to close, run to the closest administrator and tell them. If you have a rehearsal, definitely email the stage manager a few times even though they said they’d email you in a few hours. I’ve heard stage managers really like that.
Once one of your obligations ducks out, play them off each other. If you don’t have to go to work on a Friday, should you have to go to class on Saturday afternoon? No. So start spreading the word!
6. Check your props
Ice scraper? Check. Snow melt? Nah, that’s the landlord’s problem. Red Sox hat and North Face jacket? You better believe it. Remember that shovel you left out in the basement of your apartment building? Double check that it’s there, because now’s when someone is most likely to walk off with it. Yes, your name is on it, but it was on the plunger too and remember what happened with that?
Also, decide what you will put in your parking space. While old milk crates are the standard space-saver, if you are creative the Globe will put you in its yearly “aren’t people in Southie funny about their space-savers” photo montage. Past gems have included a fish tank, a bookshelf, and a high chair. Bonus: at some point the trash collectors will take it away.
If your heart isn’t racing with excitement by now, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. Boston storms have everything you could ever want: laziness, panic, survivalism, mocking, and days off from work! One would think that our list was complete, but there is one more step.
Repeat after me: OMG THIS IS SO BORING. Why am I stuck at home? It’s not even that bad outside. Storms are stupid. I’m so over this.
Twenty jars of mayonnaise? Around here, cold rain is enough to cause a run on bread and milk.
Oh, and owning an SUV means that the laws of physics no longer apply to you. That’s what 4 wheel drive is for!
Substitute a few specifics (i.e., name of mayor, logo on hat, etc.) and you have the survival steps for Chicago, too! ” Storms are stupid. I’m so over this.” <–PERFECT
Drive to Bf”lo to spend the duration.
Wish I was back in Boston to experience this! We just got rain, boooo.