Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities

In 1969 a blizzard hit NYC on Sunday morning. We rode the subway to where it came out of the ground and there it stopped. By noon the snow was 18 inches deep and the city unexpectedly silent. Nothing moved.

The next morning I put on a suit (I didn't own an overcoat) and hoofed it briskly to the subway to work. Everything on the surface was snowed under, but millions of us showed up on time.

So many, in fact, that the Bagel Crisis emerged, as we rapidly ate our way through the 179 million bagels that were on hand and looked longingly towards the bakeries of Queens and Brooklyn for resupply. Fortunately, civic leaders understood the importance of this matter and quickly opened transport lines to the bakeries. Don't mess with a New Yawkers bagel or his 'coffee'.

In Seattle in 2010 a mini-blizzard dumped 3-6 inches of snow on Seattle. Surface transportation was paralyzed and workers were advised not to come to work if they could avoid it. The only thing that ran on time was the light rail line out to the airport. There's a lesson in there somewhere, if we choose to see it.

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