Why I live in Palm Springs


A headline in the NY Times caught my eye:

headline from NY Times

Let's see, Where would I rather be?

Buffalo weather
Palm Springs weather

shoveling snow in Buffalo

The folks in Buffalo are shoveling out from a early "lake-effect" snow. The folks in Palm Springs are outdoors in shorts and T-shirts. You decide.

This is all too reminiscent of fall 1985, when I arrived in Oswego, New York, also on the shores of Lake Ontario, to assume a teaching position at SUNY Oswego. Being the first of the new faculty members to arrive that fall, I had my pick of offices, and I chose one on the north end of the building with an unobstructed view of the lake. Surely this would suit the contemplative life of a scholar. (And if you believe most scholars lead a contemplative life, you've never faced a new assistant professor's undergraduate teaching load!)

And then the first "lake-effect" snow of the season hit. What had previously looked to be solid, well-fitting windows turned porous, and small drifts of snow piled up on the inside of my window sill and spilled onto the floor, driven by the biting north wind. My office with a view turned into a walk-in freezer. Oh how I envied those late-comers who ended up with windowless interior offices!

Sure, snow is pretty — from a distance and when it is voluntary!