This just in: Washington, DC has now had its first official snowstorm of 2009. I use the term "snowstorm" lightly, as in many parts of the world what we just witnessed would be termed "light flurries," but we're in Washington, so snowstorm it is. And though I generally prefer the first heat wave of the year, I have to admit that the white stuff does pretty up the place a bit. Not to mention the unique sense of quiet and calm that a little snowfall can bring to an otherwise bustling city.
Two things caught my attention as I walked about in the elements today. One was the odd neon blue and neon pink stuff I saw being spread around the sidewalks. Presumably, it's meant to melt the slippery spots, but what's with the color? What kind of strange chemical compounds are they releasing onto the streets of DC? What ever happened to plain old fashioned sand, which is more natural, less garish, and simply works better? Second was the surprising abundance of umbrellas. Maybe I've just never been observant enough in Minnesota to notice them (too preoccupied with trying to get to the next warm building so as not to freeze to death), but I don't think we use umbrellas to protect against snow up there. Yet it's apparently all the rage in DC. I shot this pair while walking home from work, and although the photo is a little blurry (artistic?), you can still see what I'm talking about. Hmmmmm... Thoughts?