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Blizzards of 1996: Fabulous Photos of New York City Covered in the Ice

In 1996, New York City was hit by one of the most severe blizzards. Twenty inches of snow fell during the storm, along with 50 mph winds and drifts as high as 8 feet. The powerful winter storm developed when cold air came from the Gulf of Mexico combined with hot air coming from Canada; it hit NYC on January 6 and lasted for 37 hours, dropping 2 inches of snow per hour on average.

Schools were closed, mail was snarled, food deliveries were delayed, and disrupted travel. Only the police, fire department, and hospital staff reported to work; residents were advised to stay home and await the passing of the storm. The storm intensified, and traffic came to a halt, leaving many people stranded mid-way to their destinations. There was high anxiety and frustration at airports, bus terminals, and rest stops along highways. The grocery stores looked as foreboding and empty as they did in post-apocalyptic films by evening. Con Edison reported a power outage in Gravesend, Brooklyn, affecting 1500 customers, though services would be restored the following night. From Washington to Boston, damages were estimated at a billion dollars, while casualties reached a hundred from Kentucky to Connecticut. People living on the streets of New York were the most affected. Even though the city made every effort to relocate the homeless safely, only 7200 beds in 39 shelters were occupied.

#1 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, 1996

42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, 1996

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#2 New York billboards, 1996

New York billboards, 1996

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#3 Times Square, 1996

Times Square, 1996

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#4 Times Square, 1996

Times Square, 1996

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#5 Times Square, 1996

Times Square, 1996

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#6 A woman walking down a street in New York City, during the blizzard of January 1996.

A woman walking down a street in New York City, during the blizzard of January 1996.

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#7 A taxi in the snow in Manhattan, New York City, during the blizzard of January 1996.

A taxi in the snow in Manhattan, New York City, during the blizzard of January 1996.

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#8 42nd Street, 1996

42nd Street, 1996

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#9 42nd Street, 1996

42nd Street, 1996

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#10 42nd Street, 1996

42nd Street, 1996

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#11 42nd Street, 1996

42nd Street, 1996

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#12 42nd Street, 1996

42nd Street, 1996

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#13 42nd Street, 1996

42nd Street, 1996

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#14 42nd Street, 1996

42nd Street, 1996

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#15 FDR Drive at South Street Southport, 1996

FDR Drive at South Street Southport, 1996

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#16 FDR Drive, 1996

FDR Drive, 1996

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#17 Fifth Avenue and 21st Street, 1996

Fifth Avenue and 21st Street, 1996

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#18 Ninth Avenue and 40th Street, 1996

Ninth Avenue and 40th Street, 1996

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#19 Sixth Avenue and 21st Street, 1996

Sixth Avenue and 21st Street, 1996

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#20 Sixth Avenue and 25th Street, 1996

Sixth Avenue and 25th Street, 1996

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#21 Times Square, 1996

Times Square, 1996

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#22 Times Square, 1996

Times Square, 1996

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#23 Times Square, 1996

Times Square, 1996

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#24 Times Square, 1996

Times Square, 1996

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#25 Wall Street area, 1996

Wall Street area, 1996

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#26 Two men shovel snow after the Blizzard of 1996.

Two men shovel snow after the Blizzard of 1996.

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#27 A snow covered street on the Upper West Side, New York City, during the blizzard of January 1996.

A snow covered street on the Upper West Side, New York City, during the blizzard of January 1996.

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#28 A girl writing in the snow covering a car in New York City, during the blizzard of January 1996.

A girl writing in the snow covering a car in New York City, during the blizzard of January 1996.

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#29 A girl writing in the snow covering a car in New York City, during the blizzard of January 1996.

A girl writing in the snow covering a car in New York City, during the blizzard of January 1996.

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#30 Pedestrians Walking Across Snow-Covered Street

Pedestrians Walking Across Snow-Covered Street

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#31 Man in Yellow Coat and Boots Using Electric Snowplow, 1996

Man in Yellow Coat and Boots Using Electric Snowplow, 1996

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#32 Car Parked on Street is Buried in Snow

Car Parked on Street is Buried in Snow

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#33 Row of Mailboxes in Snowbank on Sidewalk, 1996

Row of Mailboxes in Snowbank on Sidewalk, 1996

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#34 Man in Snow-Covered Coat Talking on Pay Phone, New York City, 1996

Man in Snow-Covered Coat Talking on Pay Phone, New York City, 1996

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#35 Man Wearing Scarf on Face Riding Bicycle in Manhattan, New York City, 1996

Man Wearing Scarf on Face Riding Bicycle in Manhattan, New York City, 1996

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#36 Pedestrians Carrying Umbrellas on Street During Snowstorm, New York City, 1996

Pedestrians Carrying Umbrellas on Street During Snowstorm, New York City, 1996

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#37 People Lining up on Street at Bus Stop in Snow, New York City, 1996

People Lining up on Street at Bus Stop in Snow, New York City, 1996

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#38 Snow-Covered People Boarding Bus During Snowstorm, New York City, 1996

Snow-Covered People Boarding Bus During Snowstorm, New York City, 1996

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#39 Pedestrians Walking Across Park Buried in Snow, New York City, 1996

Pedestrians Walking Across Park Buried in Snow, New York City, 1996

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#40 Man on Bicycle Riding in Empty, Snowy Street, New York City, 1996

Man on Bicycle Riding in Empty, Snowy Street, New York City, 1996

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#41 Man Stands on Snowy Train Platform, New York City, 1996

Man Stands on Snowy Train Platform, New York City, 1996

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#42 Pedestrians Walking in Empty, Snow-Covered Street, New York City, 1996

Pedestrians Walking in Empty, Snow-Covered Street, New York City, 1996

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#43 Pedestrians Walking on Street During Snowstorm, New York City, 1996

Pedestrians Walking on Street During Snowstorm, New York City, 1996

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#44 People Removing Snow from Sidewalk Using Shovels, New York City, 1996

People Removing Snow from Sidewalk Using Shovels, New York City, 1996

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#45 Old Woman with Umbrella and Friend Standing in Snowstorm, New York City, 1996

Old Woman with Umbrella and Friend Standing in Snowstorm, New York City, 1996

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#46 A woman looks skyward as she waits to cross the street outside Radio City Music Hall during the heavy snowfall 07 January in New York.

A woman looks skyward as she waits to cross the street outside Radio City Music Hall during the heavy snowfall 07 January in New York.

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#47 Workers shovel snow from the sidewalk in Times Square during, New York City, 1996

Workers shovel snow from the sidewalk in Times Square during, New York City, 1996

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#48 Pedestrian slowly makes his way across Pike St. during a blizzard, New York City, 1996

Pedestrian slowly makes his way across Pike St. during a blizzard, New York City, 1996

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#49 Pedestrian walks along a desolate First Ave. during a blizza

Pedestrian walks along a desolate First Ave. during a blizza

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#50 Pedestrian walks into a snow filled Central Park during a blizzard, New York City, 1996

Pedestrian walks into a snow filled Central Park during a blizzard, New York City, 1996

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#51 Pedestrian carefully crosses the street in Times Square during the blizzard, New York City, 1996

Pedestrian carefully crosses the street in Times Square during the blizzard, New York City, 1996

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#52 Pedestrian makes his way across W. Broadway during a blizzard, New York City, 1996

Pedestrian makes his way across W. Broadway during a blizzard, New York City, 1996

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#53 Pedestrians make their way along Sixth Ave. during a blizzard

Pedestrians make their way along Sixth Ave. during a blizzard

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#54 Pedestrians slowly make their way up 57th St. during a blizzard, New York City, 1996

Pedestrians slowly make their way up 57th St. during a blizzard, New York City, 1996

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#55 A delivery of goods is pulled by hand in the middle of snow bound traffic during one of the worst blizzards in New York City’s history.

A delivery of goods is pulled by hand in the middle of snow bound traffic during one of the worst blizzards in New York City's history.

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#56 Several hardy souls crossing windy, snowswept plaza during Blizzard of 1996, in financial district.

Several hardy souls crossing windy, snowswept plaza during Blizzard of 1996, in financial district.

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#57 Pedestrians make their way past a buried car in New York’s Times Square 08

Pedestrians make their way past a buried car in New York's Times Square 08

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#58 A New Yorker makes her way down Seventh Avenue in Manhattan.

A New Yorker makes her way down Seventh Avenue in Manhattan.

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#59 A line of pedestrians and vehicles wind their way down New York’s Fifth Avenue

A line of pedestrians and vehicles wind their way down New York's Fifth Avenue

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#60 New Yorkers bundle up against blizzard conditions on the streets of New York City as a winter storm hits.

New Yorkers bundle up against blizzard conditions on the streets of New York City as a winter storm hits.

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#61 A nearly deserted Times Square during a blizzard.

A nearly deserted Times Square during a blizzard.

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#62 Dump truck removes snow along Sixth Ave. the day after a blizzard.

Dump truck removes snow along Sixth Ave. the day after a blizzard.

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#63 Idle taxi cab sits buried in snow on 57th St. the day after a blizzard, 1996

Idle taxi cab sits buried in snow on 57th St. the day after a blizzard, 1996

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#64 Cab driver pushes his taxi cab after getting stuck on 33rd St. near Ninth Ave. after a blizzard.

Cab driver pushes his taxi cab after getting stuck on 33rd St. near Ninth Ave. after a blizzard.

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#65 Carol Ullman and Jack Water head to work on skis on Riverside Dr. after a blizzard.

Carol Ullman and Jack Water head to work on skis on Riverside Dr. after a blizzard.

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#66 Children climb up 30-foot piles of snow along the streets and sidewalks of Manhattan after a blizzard.

Children climb up 30-foot piles of snow along the streets and sidewalks of Manhattan after a blizzard.

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#67 Pedestrian walks down the middle of the street as she makes her way downtown. Sidewalks were piled up with snow after a blizzard.

Pedestrian walks down the middle of the street as she makes her way downtown. Sidewalks were piled up with snow after a blizzard.

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#68 Pedestrians struggle to cross the street during a blizzard.

Pedestrians struggle to cross the street during a blizzard.

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#69 Snowdrifts covering parked cars on 110th Street after more than 20 inches (50cm) of snow fell in two days in New York City

Snowdrifts covering parked cars on 110th Street after more than 20 inches (50cm) of snow fell in two days in New York City

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#70 Cross Country Skiing in Manhattan During Blizzard. Skiers in New York City during the Blizzard of 1996.

Cross Country Skiing in Manhattan During Blizzard. Skiers in New York City during the Blizzard of 1996.

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#71 Snow Blanketing Streets of New York City

Snow Blanketing Streets of New York City

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#72 Skiing on West End Avenue.

Skiing on West End Avenue.

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#73 Skiing in Snow-Covered Park

Skiing in Snow-Covered Park

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#74 Taxi Covered with Snow

Taxi Covered with Snow

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#75 Mother and Daughter Walking Through Snow

Mother and Daughter Walking Through Snow

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#76 Car on City Street Buried in Snow

Car on City Street Buried in Snow

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#77 The entrance to a building is blocked by snow drifts.

The entrance to a building is blocked by snow drifts.

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#78 Two Men Shovel Snow Around a Snowman

Two Men Shovel Snow Around a Snowman

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#79 Ron Foster, 56, a homeless resident of New York City, sweeps snow out of his make-shift shelter on South street in Manhattan

Ron Foster, 56, a homeless resident of New York City, sweeps snow out of his make-shift shelter on South street in Manhattan

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#80 A New York City Department of Sanitation truck dumps snow into the East River underneath the Manhattan Bridge in New York with the Brooklyn Bridge is visible behind.

A New York City Department of Sanitation truck dumps snow into the East River underneath the Manhattan Bridge in New York with the Brooklyn Bridge is visible behind.

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#81 Aerial of Staten Island after a blizzard.

Aerial of Staten Island after a blizzard.

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#82 Earl Lessey starts digging one of his two cars out of the snow in Carroll Gardens after a blizzard left them buried.

Earl Lessey starts digging one of his two cars out of the snow in Carroll Gardens after a blizzard left them buried.

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#83 Dump truck heads down Fifth Ave. with a load of snow to be dumped into the East River after a blizzard.

Dump truck heads down Fifth Ave. with a load of snow to be dumped into the East River after a blizzard.

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#84 Huge tunnels dug out of the snow allow New Yorkers to get onto sidewalks as they head back to work after a blizzard.

Huge tunnels dug out of the snow allow New Yorkers to get onto sidewalks as they head back to work after a blizzard.

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#85 Sidewalk space is scarce as snow covers most of the road on Fifth Ave. after a blizzard.

Sidewalk space is scarce as snow covers most of the road on Fifth Ave. after a blizzard.

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#86 Garbage on 73rd St. after blizzard

Garbage on 73rd St. after blizzard

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#87 Trucks and a payloader dump snow into the frozen Schuylkill River, as Philadelphia tries to dig out from a blizzard.

Trucks and a payloader dump snow into the frozen Schuylkill River, as Philadelphia tries to dig out from a blizzard.

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#88 Trucks dump the snow from city streets into the East River at Dike and South Streets after a blizzard.

Trucks dump the snow from city streets into the East River at Dike and South Streets after a blizzard.

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#89 New Yorkers climb mound of snow at the curb as they begin to head back to work after a blizzard.

New Yorkers climb mound of snow at the curb as they begin to head back to work after a blizzard.

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#90 Workers remove snow from train tracks after a blizzard, at the John D. Caemmerer Westside Storage Yard Complex of the L.I.R.R.

Workers remove snow from train tracks after a blizzard, at the John D. Caemmerer Westside Storage Yard Complex of the L.I.R.R.

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#91 Pedestrians look at snow filled intersections on Ninth Ave. as they try to map out a way to get across the street after a blizzard.

Pedestrians look at snow filled intersections on Ninth Ave. as they try to map out a way to get across the street after a blizzard.

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#92 Cross Country skiers cross the Sheep Meadow in Central Park during the Blizzard, New York,.

Cross Country skiers cross the Sheep Meadow in Central Park during the Blizzard, New York,.

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#93 Jennifer Pitt (right) and Ann Crystal make their way past the U.S. Capitol on skis, since a large amount of snow remains on the ground as a result of a blizzard.

Jennifer Pitt (right) and Ann Crystal make their way past the U.S. Capitol on skis, since a large amount of snow remains on the ground as a result of a blizzard.

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#94 Woman Shoveling Snow off of Car

Woman Shoveling Snow off of Car

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#95 Digging out Car from Two Foot Snow Storm

Digging out Car from Two Foot Snow Storm

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#96 Bulldozer Dumping Snow in River

Bulldozer Dumping Snow in River

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#97 Snow Plows Clearing Street

Snow Plows Clearing Street

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#98 Snow in East River

Snow in East River

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#99 Bulldozer Dumping Snow in River

Bulldozer Dumping Snow in River

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#100 Mounds of Snow Lining City Sidewalk

Mounds of Snow Lining City Sidewalk

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#101 Taxi by Snow Bank

Taxi by Snow Bank

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#102 Mounds of Snow Lining City Sidewalk

Mounds of Snow Lining City Sidewalk

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#103 Garbage piles up at Columbus Ave. at 72nd St. due to the blizzard.

Garbage piles up at Columbus Ave. at 72nd St. due to the blizzard.

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#104 Garbage piles up due to the blizzard.

Garbage piles up due to the blizzard.

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#105 Traffic heading down Ninth Ave. after a snow storm which complicated the evening commute.

Traffic heading down Ninth Ave. after a snow storm which complicated the evening commute.

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#106 Traffic heading down Ninth Ave. after a snow storm which complicated the evening commute.

Traffic heading down Ninth Ave. after a snow storm which complicated the evening commute.

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#107 Two little girls with one big umbrella take a walk in Central Park during a snow storm.

Two little girls with one big umbrella take a walk in Central Park during a snow storm.

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#108 A jogger makes his through Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx March as another snowstorm hits the New York City area.

A jogger makes his through Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx March as another snowstorm hits the New York City area.

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#109 Woman cross country skiing on 42nd street during snow blizzard.

Woman cross country skiing on 42nd street during snow blizzard.

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#110 Snow storm Archive

Snow storm Archive

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#111 Snow blizzard Archive

Snow blizzard Archive

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#112 A pedestrian walks among tracks in the snow 29 March during a spring snowstorm in New York City.

A pedestrian walks among tracks in the snow 29 March during a spring snowstorm in New York City.

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#113 A pedestrian walks across the street in theavy snow 29 March during a spring snowstorm in New York.

A pedestrian walks across the street in theavy snow 29 March during a spring snowstorm in New York.

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#114 Provie Monchek in maternity ward at Beth Israel Hospital with babies born in the blizzard.

Provie Monchek in maternity ward at Beth Israel Hospital with babies born in the blizzard.

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#115 Eighth Avenue at 42nd Street, 1996

Eighth Avenue at 42nd Street, 1996

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#116 42nd Street, 1996

42nd Street, 1996

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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