The results are in! I had three participants in the New Haven According to Nameless contest — thank you all for indulging me — and loved hearing your answers!
And the winner is… Rachel! Congratulations!
Here are the contest ANSWERS:
1) He saw a flicker; the instinct of two decades of driving in New Haven rose under his skin and he jammed on the brakes.
ACCURATE. Every time you get behind the wheel in New Haven, you are taking your life into your own hands. The outcome is not guaranteed. My boss described it as being in a video game, which is quite apt. Your objective: drive four blocks and avoid all obstacles. Unlike other places where people just drive recklessly fast, in New Haven you never know what the threat will be. It could be someone speeding through a red light (while the cop on the other corner doesn’t care at all). It could be someone randomly stopping in the middle of a lane. Or it could be a pedestrian who just strides into the street from somewhere hidden. Who knows? It’s best to be comfortable with the brake pedal, just in case someone grabs your shoulder and hisses, “There’s that tenement!”
A fine example of New Haven driving. This was aggravated by the snow, but what you see here is a truck pushing a U-Haul while a SUV tries to pass. Only one and a quarter lanes had been cleared of the heavily trafficked four lane road.
2) The snow lasted two months, shrouding New Haven in white…But the snowplows and the drags ran night and day.
INACCURATE. As Britta and Rachel mentioned, two months is modest for the New Haven winter, but Jeff got to the heart of the matter. Never ever do the snowplows run night and day. Our worst snowpocalypse involved steady snowfall for about 24 hours. The snowplows called it a day after about 8 hours, right when the heavy snow really kicked in. The picture above was taken about 36 hours after the snow had stopped.
Walking to work about 32 hours after the snow had stopped. Heigh-ho.
3) “What the hell was that guy, anyway?”
In New Haven, you could ask that question, but you probably wouldn’t get much of an
ACCURATE. New Haven is quite possibly the best people watching city I’ve ever encountered. There are strange little vignettes happening everywhere in the city. Creators of absurdist theatre would be disappointed to see their thunder stolen by real life. Something about New Haven draws in the craziest of the crazies.
Props to Britta for mentioning this guy with the bicycle seat cowhead.
4) Walking home in New Haven was risky.
ACCURATE. We happened to live on the border of not-that-bad and sketchy, so the buddy system was relied on heavily. Of course, there were odd ducks everywhere, but some streets were more brightly lit than others. (Britta answered inaccurate on this one, but since I am well aware of the scary that she’s referring to, I awarded her the point.)
Thanks again to Britta, Rachel, and Jeff for participating!