Our credo here is pretty much that old saw usually attributed to
the mailman -- neither hail nor sleet nor snow would keep him from
And nothing would keep Travel Weekly from going to press on
The paper closed on time in the two weeks of a New York subway
and bus strike in 1980.
Staffers walked or found alternative transport to the office.
(In one of the finest pieces of timing in my life, the strike fell
precisely during my two-week vacation in Morocco. I missed the
But I did not miss the Great New York City Blackout of July
On the long -- and very hot -- day (July 14) of no lights and no
elevators, several staffers met at our office building, then in
Manhattan, for a ride to the print shop in New Jersey, where we set
up a makeshift news operation, collecting and editing stories filed
by reporters working at home or in bureaus. And so we closed on
In recent years, we have had some stupendous snowstorms that
stranded numerous staffers at home or even caused our office
building to be shut down.
Usually, those storms had not occurred on a press day. But it
did happen once.
We were forced to go to press a day late, to my knowledge a
once-only occurrence at this paper.
The upside was that we could amend Page 1 stories, answering
some questions that we would not have had answered on the real
And we caught up fast, closing our next issue with lots of new
news -- and on time.
Last year, extensive preparations were made to ensure we would
not miss a press day in case of Y2K-related failures, so one might
ask why we could not go to press on time in less drastic
The issue is one of scale: The possibility of missing deadlines
for a whole week or more due to computer failure is a threat to
this business -- and hence worth some costly preparations. To close
a day late because of snow is not.
When the snow did get us, I cannot say I was too brokenhearted
to have an unexpected weekday off in a very white New York
Besides producing a lovely sight, the snow-filled sky laid a
gauzy mask over the buildings, creating a look that reminded me of
old New York photographs under falling snows of many, many winters
A radio newscaster observed that snow, with its capacity to
absorb noise, creates for us an abnormally quiet city.
And maybe that is one reason the city under snowy skies suggests
photographs to me. I am seeing the silence of a still photo.