It was February 8, 2013. I remember this day because there was a blizzard. It was cold and foggy. Despite this, I decided to visit my hometown, Ridgewood. The streets were empty, gray concrete and it was about 4pm. It had not yet began to snow , but the roads were oddly empty and I was the only one walking to the train station.
Then I was the only one waiting for the train. The train took about 15 minutes to arrive and I was losing patience, but it got here. The MTA is always messing up everyone’s schedule.I wasn’t the only one on the train. To my left, there was a homeless guy with his trash, trying to stay warm with the comfort of the train. To my right, there was a couple who wouldn’t stop making out. There were two other people, but I didn’t pay much attention to them.
I paid more attention to the homeless guy and the couple. The homeless guy made me sad, knowing that he probably didn’t have anyone. The couple made me think what would happen if they broke up? Who would take it harder? The guy or the girl?And to be honest, I didn’t want to think about it. The train crossed the Manhattan Bridge as it always does. It’s the kind of bridge where the sun is shining directly at it and on the window of train you can see the dust floating around in the air. But this time, it was different and it was snowing. I couldn’t see the city, all I saw were the snowflakes hitting the window and their speed.
11 more stops to go. They went by quickly and I was there in less than 20 minutes. I got out the station and everything was the same as I remembered. This sameness made me feel the warmth I feel once I step into my grandmother’s house, or that of any elderly person. The kind where it is freezing outside and I decide to go to my grandmother’s and she always has the hot chocolate ready.The places that I would always go we’re still there. The same Duane Reade with the McDonald’s across from it.
The decorations attached from the light post on one side of the sidewalk to the one across from it. It read Merry Christmas like every other year and it would light up the avenue with joy. At least it did to me. The snow had just started to pile up, so I walked to the nearest coffee shop to grab a hot chocolate, like grandma would always have. I sat there for one and a half hours, looking at the blizzard pass by and finishing up the chapters on one of my favorite books, The Catcher in the Rye.The feeling of relief, from being able to go somewhere by myself in a night like this, made me think of a time back here in Ridgewood. It was snowing, much like this day and the whole family was outside trying to build a snowman.
We didn’t have enough gloves, so some of us, including me, wore socks on our hands instead. The whole family was outside and everyone was happy, throwing snowballs at each other. The hardworking people building the snowman would get mad if we ruined it even one bit. Even so we knocked out a piece of snow from its body and head, but they still were having fun when they had to rebuild it. On that day, a snowman was built and everyone gathered around it to take a picture with it.Just when I was about to leave the coffee shop, I took a quick glimpse at the streets covered in a white sheet of snow. No one was outside, no people, cars, just me.
I took a picture of it with a film camera I had bought before hand. The last shot on it. But the picture is long gone now. At the time, I thought it would make a nice picture. But now I realize that it’s worth something more to me. For once, I took a risk of going out independently. Of course, I go out by myself, but never like this.
Never to just sit down and read in my hometown. It’s a nice feeling and I’d like to do this again. It’s so strange how after a long period of time, the only thing that changes is the person in you, but your favorite thing always remains the same.