Residents in the northwest Bronx awoke on the third day of 2014 to view their neighborhoods covered by a blanket of white.
For many it was less an idyllic post-holiday winter wonderland than a time consuming, arduous schlep navigating sidewalks and steps to subway platforms spotted with patches of ice, bus stops blocked with drifting snow and roads strewn with slush, salt and sand.
However, for those not required to crawl out from under the warm covers of their beds and commute, or to shovel, scrape, brush or otherwise remove snow and ice, the year’s first major snowstorm provided the start of a three-day weekend.
While it was an ideal time to stay indoors by a sizzling fire with a hot drink or a stronger libation, watch movies, read, play cards, solve puzzles, link one together or gather around a board game for some friendly or fierce competition, The Press hit the ground in the area parks to find how some of the more venturesome residents were spending the day in the frosty weather.
For anyone seeking downhill sledding action in Riverdale, the long and steep slopes of Ewan Park topped their list.
Riverdale resident Maria Rudchenko sat behind her 26-month-old son Alexander, guiding them as they slowly glided down the soft snow, still fresh since it fell, as her husband and the boy’s father, Illya, 28, waited to catch them at the bottom.
“It’s totally untouched snow — he loves it,” said Ms. Rudchenko, 29, a biologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, referring to her son. “We’re going to enjoy today because it’s the end of our vacations and next week we go back to work.”
With all of the public schools in the city closed, many young students accompanied by their parents were also steering sleds down the hill.
Gary Scwartz, 53, a professor and researcher at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, who resides in Riverdale, pulled the sled of his 5-year-old daughter Adela up the hill and watched as she zoomed down from the peak all the way to the bottom near Riverdale Avenue.