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You’ll Never Walk Alone, Especially In New York City

By Staff | Dec 29, 2010

This photo was taken in Times Square at about 6 p.m. Sunday as the Stokes family made their way to the subway station. “This photo doesn't quite depict just how blinded we were from the wind and snow,” said Miranda Stokes.

If you know my family, you know we’re not very ordinary. We share some pretty unique skills and interests, and many of our family traditions are contrary to the norm. Along those lines, my parents decided that instead of presents this Christmas, we would enjoy a family vacation. The destination? New York City. So we hopped aboard a flight Thursday morning and enjoyed an amazing few days in the city filled with unique foods, experiences, and Broadway shows. The weather was cold but the skies and roads were clear and made for an ideal visit to the Big Apple.

We were scheduled to fly home Sunday evening. The day started as planned and we went to our final matinee in Times Square. When the show was over, we found ourselves in a very different New York. The Nor’easter was beginning to touch the city and already the streets and side walks were slushy and the skies were grayed out. We made our way slowly to the subway station and took a train to a station nearby our hotel in Queens. We were fortunate to only have to walk a few blocks in the treacherous conditions, but those few blocks were honestly quite painful and scary. I don’t recall ever being out in a blizzard like that and all I can say is how thankful I am my family and I made it to the hotel before the worst of it struck.

Safe, warm, and dry inside our room we watched the storm whip through the area. The iconic view of New York City’s skyline was completely grayed out. Needless to say, many flights, including ours, were canceled that evening, though we were rescheduled to an afternoon flight on Monday. The next morning we woke up to a very white city, snow piled high on the roads and cars completely hidden by the white stuff. We learned from news reports that all area airports were shut down, along with I-95, many subway trains, and other means of transportation. Power outages were all over the city and many individuals were still stuck in the subway stations and trains cold, restless, and hungry. The public was urged to stay inside as crews worked to clear roadways. While our family was inconvenienced by the storm’s aftermath, it was obvious things were much worse for many, many others: those who weren’t on vacation; those who were trapped overnight en route to home, work, or an airport; those who were working to help the situation; and those stuck in their homes without necessities.

In one of the most popular and attractive cities in the world I quickly grew homesick, but kept my chin up knowing how fortunate I was to have this vacation to begin with and knowing I’d get home safely sometime. In the meantime my family and I had all of the necessities, and then some, at our fingertips-luxuries many aren’t afforded even on sunny days. Being snowed in helped my family and I to spend time together, which was the whole purpose in the first place. Our vacation turned into a more traditional getaway as we all spent the day playing (and inventing) games, watching television, and sharing sandwiches from the convenience store next door. The unexpected storm helped us to grow closer and reaffirmed just how lucky we are in our circumstance. This Christmas I regained an understanding of how truly blessed I am-a feeling I hope remains through the new year and beyond.

As my family and I waited out together through New York’s unexpected storm I couldn’t help but think of the lyrics to one of Broadway’s classic ballads, “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” from Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel”:

On Monday morning the scene outside the Stokes’ hotel shows just how paralyzing the snowfall was in New York City.

When you walk through the storm keep your chin up high, and don’t be afraid of the dark.

At the end of the storm is a golden sky and the sweet silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind, walk on through the rain, though your dreams be tossed and blown.

Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone.

You’ll never walk alone.

The snowfall was so heavy that the iconic New York City skyline is completely non-visible in this photo.