Brooklyn kids take to the slopes despite snow day abolition

Four-year-old Tilda Keener-Schrager and 5-year-old Vera Lentz make snowballs in Prospect Park.
Photo by Caroline Ourso

There’s snow place like Brooklyn!

Kids across the borough frolicked in the aftermath of the city’s biggest snowstorm since 2016, despite the pandemic’s potential impact on the sacred tradition of snow days.

After all learning went remote following a nor’easter that dumped over 10 inches of snow on New York City, many youngsters said their teachers came to the rescue by dismissing online school early and cancelling homework — leading Brooklyn’s sledding hot-spots to fill up with joyous youth and their families.

“Our teachers kind of came through,” said dad Gwyn Joy, who was sledding in Fort Greene Park on Thursday with his sons, Dylan and Jackson. “They held a morning Zoom, and then they said ‘no homework, you’re on your own.’” 

Pure Joy: Gwyn and Lisa Joy, along with Dylan and Jackson got some sledding in at Fort Greene Park.Photo by Ben Verde

The makeshift snow day was a treat during a tough year for youngsters, especially after a slew of nearly snow-less winters. 

“They love the snow, especially since we’ve had such miserable winters the last few winters, so this is like, ‘finally,’’ Joy said. “Especially it being during Christmastime as well.”

Dozens of kids sledded down hills in Fort Greene Park, while daredevils sped down the steep stairs leading to the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument while snow continued to fall on Thursday morning. 

Prospect Park was similarly teeming with hundreds of sledders, who raced down slopes in every corner of the greenspace, which snow enthusiasts said boasted the perfect powdery conditions for sledding.

“It’s excellent,” said Jill Davitt, who was sledding with her daughters, Finley and Cal in Brooklyn’s Backyard. “It’s not too dry, it’s not too wet, it’s perfect.” 

Two girls walk passed Prospect Park Lake to go sledding on Thursday.Photo by Caroline Ourso

The storm, which raged from Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning, was the biggest snowstorm New York City has seen since 2016, and came during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has upended daily life across the five boroughs for nearly 10 months.

Restaurants, banned again from serving indoors, were advised to clear their roadbed patios, and pause outdoor service during the storm. On Thursday, de Blasio announced that outdoor dining could resume after it seemed that most curbside structures had survived the storm. 

Department of Sanitation snow plows and salters worked through the night Wednesday, plowing and salting every street citywide at least once by 7 am, according to the department. 

“Serious amount of snow, but certainly our Sanitation Department can handle it,” the mayor said during a morning press briefing. “They have handled a whole lot worse than this, and they’ve done it brilliantly.”

Dozens flocked to Prospect Park after this year’s first snowstorm.Photo by Caroline Ourso

In all, Brooklyn saw a lighter amount of snowfall compared to other boroughs. Areas of Flatbush saw anywhere from 3 to 3.7 inches as of Wednesday evening while Coney Island clocked almost 4 inches.