Yesterday was the city's first weekday dealing with the "Blizzard of 2006," and it actually wasn't that bad, with snow starting to melt and people not complaining as much as they could about snow removal. The usual rule of thumb in determining how much a snow storm's cleanup cost is $1 million per inch of snow, but Mayor Bloomberg said he doubt the clean-up would cost $26.9 million. Forget clean-up, how about fixing potholes and those huge holes at street corners? Gothamist's favorite game during these days is "Do You Know How Deep That Slush-Topped Puddle Is?" when you gingerly tap a puddle to see if it's a manageable 1-2 inches deep or a monstrous 5+ inches deep, which requires waterproof boots and making you've plotted a route out (the alternate title is "How To Cross The Street By Stepping Into As Few Puddles As Possible"). Besides worrying about slushy sidewalks, officials are worried about flooding...and possibly drunken snow plowers. But we learned something very interesting from the NY Times article about how this storm's aftermath was surprisingly normal:

One more thing. Not to cast doubt on a record — or on the hard-working people who keep it — but do you know who measures the snow at Central Park? The security guards at the zoo. They read the numbers off a stick set in a flat, tree-ringed clearing near the sea lion pool.

Therefore, the words, "According to the National Weather Service, the snowfall in Central Park..." actually mean, "According to the security guards at the Central Park Zoo."

The only way that factoid could be better is if Gus the formerly depressed polar bear also determined whether or not storms could be classified as blizzards.

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