The snowstorm started slow and wet, and as the night and the next day wore on, it did a lot of things — it paused, it got stronger, it got weaker, it got stronger again. But one thing it didn't do, for 24 hours, was stop. （这句文字玩得好！）
But the storm had barely begun.
At times, it was impossible to see just one block, while at other moments the air cleared, revealing postcard-perfect street scenes. Fortunately, the storm did not come on a workday and the subways kept running, so getting around was less of a headache than in previous record-setting snowfalls.
For most of the day, the storm provided a rare chance to see what New York is like when it is forced to settle down, take a deep breath and go suddenly quiet. "It's so lovely," said Evan Stalk, 53, who lives in Kensington, Brooklyn. "It's muffled and wonderful."（Nice quote and 好转折）
With the rush of cars brought to a halt, the main roads were transformed into pedestrian thoroughfares. It felt like a window into New York of the 1800's, updated with digital cameras to capture the moment. （想像力很丰富）
A mother in Harlem pulling her youngest son on a sled so they could make it to church on time. Three workers at a bodega playfully arguing about whose turn it was to shovel. A child pushing on a tree, being hit on the head with falling snow, and then wondering how it happened. （几个搞笑场景白描，活灵活现）
Tom Mulligan went out during the height of the storm, about 10 a.m., when Central Park was mostly quiet. He stood alone, knee deep in snow, staring up at the trees.
"Look up there," he said. Perched high on a snow-covered branch was one of the red-tailed hawks that call New York City home. "It is just so beautiful," he said. "It is amazing to have everything quiet." （特写）
There were the acts of selflessness that come with shared discomfort and the irritation at thoughtless acts like shoveling the snow from one's own stoop and piling it in front of another. （自扫门前雪，又好气又好笑）
But the sheer amount of snow, the fact that this was a "once-in-a-lifetime," 100-year record breaker of a storm did not sink in until late in the day. And even then some thought that previous storms had been worse.
The National Weather Service said the storm was most likely not a true blizzard in New York City. It simply did not behave properly. Remember those fits and starts? The wind in a blizzard must stay above 35 miles per hour for three hours straight. This storm was too fickle, the experts said.
But for those in its path, it still felt like a blizzard.
In the early morning, the wind whipped so fiercely and the haze of white was so blinding that many of the children who would normally storm the parks to play in the snow were forced to wait. In Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, boys and girls could be seen with their noses to the window, looking longingly outside.
Hundreds of airline flights were canceled and thousands of travelers were stranded — with many undoubtedly enduring serious hardship — but for many New Yorkers it simply made a lazy Sunday all that much more lazy.
Steve Kent, 57, strapped on a pair of cross-country skis and glided down Park Avenue. The cars that would normally make that impossible were unrecognizable white heaps on the side of the road. "The snow is going to end soon," Mr. Kent said. "I am going to make the most of it."
It was the first time that Mina Choi, 19 months old, had ever seen snow, said her father, Daniel Choi, 33. "She is wondering what that stuff is," Mr. Choi said. "It's a good thing to introduce her to the elements."
As the day wore on, there were signs of impatience. City Hall issued a statement at 3:30 p.m. saying the Sanitation Department would not take complaints about snow and ice on the streets and sidewalks until two hours after the last flake fell.
That moment came at dusk, by which time the city seemed to be functioning remarkably well.
By evening, anyone who had anything that would slide, from fancy store-bought sleds to homemade creations, found their way onto the snow.
And when it snows this much, New Yorkers head to the meadow, Sheep Meadow, to build more than just snowmen. Ben Stein, 27, who lives in the East Village, was building a dragon's tail to compete with the other sculptures. His was already 10 feet tall. "If the other ones get too big," he said, "we'll destroy them."
The strength of the storm could also be measured by the size of the dogs that were out. This was a day for the big dogs.
And they don't get much bigger than the Leonberger, Bogard, that Mandy Delbridge, 28, brought out to play in Central Park. "He is right at home in this," Ms. Delbridge said. "Not like us."
Bita Amiri's little Chihuahua mix, Lola, was not faring quite as well, looking as if she could get easily blown away and buried. "We keep very good track of her," she said, laughing, noting that the dog's blue jacket was easy to spot.
Outside of the parks, on the streets, the snow had already begun to turn to a slushy muddle. Most people competed to walk the path more shoveled. But they generally did so with good cheer.
On one Midtown corner, a stranger reached out his hand to steady a woman who had made the unwise choice to wear high heels. And at the corner of 43rd Street and Eighth Avenue, a group of men on foot rushed to the aid of a limousine stuck in the snow and pushed it free.
Even Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly noted how bad weather seems to bring out our better angels. There were no homicides reported from Saturday afternoon to yesterday evening, compared with six during the same time period the previous week.
"People talk to each other on the street when it's snowing," he said. "It's a dynamic that's hard to define, but it's out there."
He added, "I'd take at least six months of heavy snow every year. Or at least heavy rain."
He was joking. Mostly.