Sunday, January 10, 2010

People vs. the Weather



We Washingtonians are ill-equipped for lengthy cold snaps. We're much more at home in flip flops than warm boots, tank tops than big hulkin' coats. I'm certain that the citizens of New England are well stocked with the right things to wear in the cold, but here? We have to root around our closets, pull some bulky thing out of the back of a chest of drawers, in order to stay warm. Or else we have to put on layer after layer of the clothes we usually wear. We have to walk around like Heidi, all bundled up and disheveled, or wear light-weight DC winter clothing - and freeze.

There are exceptions of course, the hearty souls who choose to ignore the temperatures or somehow have the right clothing, the trim coats and hats made via the latest technology that allow them to sit outside the cafes mid-afternoon, sipping their coffees while radiating a vibration of superiority.

Personally I don't mind looking bulky and disheveled, and I really LOVE the people watching when it's so cold. The picture at the top of the post was taken at Peregrine Espresso just after noon yesterday. The place was packed, but felt twice as crowded due to all the outerwear. Below are two rather annoyed looking women in nice hats inside Eastern Market, and one of the hearty types, looking quite determined.

I like holding the camera at waist-level. People don't seem to register that their picture is being taken, so are not self-conscious in any way. Very fun!

If you live somewhere where it's cold, stay warm! South of the equator I hear the heat is on. To all southern hemispherians: enjoy the height of summer!

17 comments:

Susan said...

Great slice of life pictures, Reya. I particularly enjoy the lady in the supermarket. She looks like I feel these days!
We've got single digits in the Catskills, too. Our only comfort is knowing that it must feel far worse to the people in Florida.
Shadenfreude can get you through the worst of the winter.

lakeviewer said...

Interesting pictures when taken at waist level. How do you focus?

whiteberry said...

Yeah. It's very hot here in Malaysia, especially in the afternoon. But with the mix of rainstorms in the evening, it's quite a relieved for the extreme heats to be gone for the later part of the day.

Bee said...

The other day my daughter and I made a long trek into town and it was SO AMUSING to see everyone else in the place -- all of us dressed for Arctic conditions (and taking up lots of room, as you describe here). English people seem to have plenty of winter clothes, but we can't sort out winter conditions on the roads. The grocery store was out of bread, milk, eggs and bacon!

Barry said...

We're ready for the cold weather and dress warmly in Toronto, but I don't think we're any happier looking.

ellen abbott said...

I've had to pull out my mid-weight long johns that I used to only use for winter (December which is never usually this cold) camping trips. My silk ones just weren't doing it for me. My supply of freezing weather clothes is slim and I'm wearing all of them!

steven said...

barry's got it! layers are good - i wear a long sleeved shirt designed for athletes that wicks away moisture. then a short-sleeved shirt that dies something similar, then a shirt then a sweater. over top a really good coat . a toque on my head, a scarf and gloves rated to fifty below. honkin' great boots with two layers of socks. thermal undies. finally, a positive attitude. no way is the cold gonna bug me. no way!!! but i do see a fair number of grumpy people, chiselling their way through a day. i like the hip shots reya!!!!! steven

Elizabeth said...

Waist shots excellent!
Bundled up takes hours and makes me wish I lived somewhere hot.....

California Girl said...

When I lived in Richmond & worked the DC area, I was always cold in winter. I had coats & boots & mufflers & hats & gloves. I think it seemed colder than it was because it was not dry. What I really recall is how DC, Richmond & other "southern" cities would close up like a suitcase when it snowed. They simply did not have the snow removal equipt to clear streets. And the drivers were so freaked out it was a triple threat!

Shaista said...

Happy New Year Reya!! Although from the gloomy expressions on these interesting faces I can imagine the cold is only enjoyable when one is inside and toasty warm :)
So fascinating that you are seeing a Sufi acupuncturist. I do hope the combination works well and gives you renewed vigour?
Lots of love..

k-brow said...

I'm in the process of slowly acquiring warmer clothes after getting rid of much of what I owned to live in Hawaii. Never have I been so happy to be a knitter, little things like hats, mittens and scarves make such a difference in whether I take the trash out or collect the mail in a timely fashion...

I'm amazed at how Georgians are blown away by our current cold and 1/2 inch snowfall. It's cold, yes, but c'mon people, toughen up!!

Ronda Laveen said...

Here in California, we have some winter wear but usually have try to remember where it is stored for the every other year we need it.

I read a friend in New Zealand's post today and she said it was so hot her horse was begging for a wash. Ahh, I can't wait!

The Bug said...

I really hate having to wear a coat and gloves - it makes me feel like that girl from Willy Wonka - humongous! But if I just remember to put on Steven's good attitude it should make my day MUCH better LOL!

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

It takes so long to bundle up, then unbundle and hope you don't drop a glove, etc etc. And of course, then I look fat, lol

Reya Mellicker said...

One advantage of this cold weather is that you really can't tell how much anyone weighs. What a relief!

Hip shots?? Oh yeah! Rosaria I have a point and shoot, cheap-ass camera so I'm never allowed to focus. So glad these turned out!

Shadenfreude, eh? I like it.

The Sufi acupuncturist is brilliant. I am completely recovered from whatever it was that ailed me. Worked hard all day today and I'm doing well. I even think I MIGHT be getting over the detox. I wasn't cranky today, just flaky, which is much more enjoyable.

Onwards & upwards!!

Linda Sue said...

It is absolutely balmy here- highly unusual! A trick I learned when I first moved here ages ago and lived in a non heated house by the bay- frozen- go to a charity shop and get a cashmere sweater for underwear- never cold wearing cashmere next to skin. I, too, like that everyone looks chubby, not just me, under layers of whatever is found in the lcoset...Glad SO glad that you are better!!!

Nancy said...

I've really been enjoying my walks in the cold. It's not the uber-freezing cold - just very nippy. A hat, scarf and fleece. No need for wool right now. Nice!