Life and snow

February 11, 2010

The epic storms of the past week have bent but not broken the daily lives of Marylanders. While many are hunkered down at home, others continue to exercise, work and shop in trying conditions. There are cab riders to be ferried, patients to tend to, and miles to log in running regimens. And a team of Baltimore recreation workers is toiling to prevent a costly skating-rink dome from suffering damage.

For dedicated runner, 3 miles in snow 'an impulse thing'

By Liz F. Kay

Delip Rao threw caution to the considerable wind Wednesday afternoon.

The Johns Hopkins University graduate student decided to go for a three-mile run from Charles Village toward the Inner Harbor about 3 p.m., despite warnings of severe weather.

"It was an impulse thing," he said.

With school closed, "I was feeling especially restless being at home," Rao said. He has been running long distances for about five years and usually runs 65 miles to 70 miles a week.

"I pretty much run almost every day, which includes extreme conditions," he said.

Running is Rao's favorite way to see the city, and he was amazed at how deserted everything was.

"I was running on the center of North Charles Street, which is unthinkable on most days," he said.

Despite the shorter distance, his run was much harder than usual, given the conditions. "With all this heavy wind, it's like doing 10 times the intensity workout," he said.

Because Maryland doesn't frequently have such severe weather, Rao didn't have any special gear.

"It rarely snows this much in Baltimore, so I wasn't prepared at all," he said, instead piling on three layers.

Running on snow feels like running on sand, Rao said, adding that he never felt in danger of slipping. Icier conditions would have been more treacherous. And treadmills are not an option for him, because outdoor runs are never boring.

"I only wish I could run a lot more distance," he said.

Cabbie sneers at road wary: 'I'm from Buffalo'

By Nick Madigan and Leeann Adams

Samuel Rosado is the sort of cabdriver who takes pride in his work. And that's putting it mildly.

When the streets are filled with snow and the air with howling wind, that's when Rosado displays his mettle. Last weekend, he worked right through the storm, he said, and in three days made $1,000.

"These roads are really bad," he said Wednesday, in the middle of the second snowstorm in less than a week, as he waited for a fare outside Baltimore's Penn Station. "But since I'm from Buffalo [N.Y.], I'm not afraid of this."

Waving his hand at the turbulent elements with disdain, he sneered, "This is nothing compared to Buffalo."

Rosado's bravado extends to disparaging other cabbies, particularly those from subtropical climes. "They're chicken, they're afraid, they're not used to this," he said. "I have the experience."

When the flakes start to come down, Rosado went on, "the cabdrivers here, they leave the customer behind."

He, however, is of a different ilk. "I'm here every single day, giving customers the service they need," said Rosado, who was attired in a wildly colorful sweat shirt and knit hat. "That's why I'm here, to take care of them. And they take care of me, of course."

Got it? Well, that depends on a number of factors

By Jacques Kelly

The question was a simple one: "Got milk?"

The answer depended first upon whether a grocery was open in the storm, and then it depended on the store.

"No cow's milk. I've got soy and rice milk though," said Edna Mack of the Eddie's Market in the Mount Vernon neighborhood on West Eager Street. "I've got bread, toilet paper, meat, anything but cow's milk."

The store was one of those open during the midday hours of Wednesday's storm.

"Milk? We ran out yesterday when we first brought it in," said Rayna Williamson, an employee of a CVS pharmacy and store at Charles and 25th streets.

Dave Harvey, customer service manager of the Waverly Giant on East 33rd Street, said his store had milk, but the chicken was flying out the door, along with canned goods and eggs.

"Foot traffic is all we have," Harvey said. "People are buying anything."

Complicating the milk-supply issue were store hours.

"We had plenty of milk, but we closed at 1 p.m. to let our employees get home." said Bernadette Lauer Snoops, an owner of Lauer's Supermarket in Pasadena.

Crews battling snow buildup on DiPietro rink dome

By Justin Fenton

The bubble dome over the skating rink at Patterson Park collapsed during the 1996 snowstorm, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, and officials aren't taking any chances this time around.

Anywhere from four to 20 employees have been working around the clock to keep snow from accumulating on the heavy vinyl bubble that covers the structure of the Dominic "Mimi" DiPietro Family Ice Skating Center, said Bob Wall of the city's Department of Recreation and Parks.

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