New York's blizzard and Kelly's first snow
NEW YORK, United States – On the day Kelly Munro came to America from his tiny island in the Pacific, snow fell – his first snow. It was beautiful.
Home was Granada, in the Caribbean, where you maybe fish or maybe farm or maybe teach, but there wasn't much a future out there for his 3-year-old daughter. They were a family of two, and everything he did was for her. So he left, packed them up, both of them, to hunt down the American dream.
"The hardest shit" was getting the green card. When he did, he got a job washing windows, then opened his own business. Now he's a labor foreman, and has been for 7 years. He gave up a good job building bridges at home to give his girl a shot at the American dream.
At 9 in the morning after one of New York City’s biggest blizzards since the 1900s, Kelly is in front of his construction site along 77th and Broadway with his crew. It's New York law to clear 3 feet of sidewalk in front of every building. The snow flies up from shovels, slow and steady, the sand pellets are scattered, the sand spread out over the concrete. The men laugh and joke, someone raps about the cold.
Winter storm Jonas dumped more snow on the East Coast in a few hours than the entirety of the winter season, blanketing the city in white, grounding all flights and prompting a state of emergency, sledding, and impromptu snowball fights at the center of Times Square. There was 26.8 inches in Central Park, the second highest recorded by the National Weather Service since 1869. Three people died shoveling on Saturday, all men past 68.
Heart attacks, Kelly says. It happens. "You gotta take it slow."
He lives in Brooklyn now, spent all day in bed during the blizzard watching The Walking Dead on Netflix. It was a good break, now he’s back at work.
It's been more than 20 years since Kelly looked up to see snowflakes for the first time. He's 50 years old, and his gamble paid off. His daughter is a contracts lawyer. It didn't really matter what she chose – she could have chosen to dance the ballet and Kelly wouldn't have minded – only that she had a chance at whatever she wanted. He has no regrets coming to America – it was all for her.
New Yorkers are good people, he says, good to immigrants, good to all kinds. "They're mean shit down in the south," but New Yorkers, they come from all over, he says, and they’re good folk. – Rappler.com