Living in a big city, particularly one that has severe winters, as it happens in Boston, New York, Chicago and Philadelphia, residents can have its advantages and disadvantages. When it snows, for the first day, the city sparkles in white. Then, the situation changes when the snow turns to slush and and soot, making everything unpleasant shades of gray.
However, big cities have extensive parks and playing fields, where locals can enjoy the changing weather conditions throughout the year. Winter snows are not always inconvenient, because streets and paths are cleared off quickly. Then the fun begins on clean snow with strolling, sledding and other winter fun.
Another unique weather advantage to residents who have to go to work every day are cities with extensive subway systems. While snow, ice and slush are piling up overhead on the exposed streets, they can ride to their jobs in comfortable underground trains.
A unique, but often unpleasant weather condition in some big cities is smog and other industrial air pollution. The worst example in America today could be Los Angeles. The city is mostly at sea level, and surrounded on three sides by hills.
When the humidity is high and traffic heavy, the pollution forms a grey cloud that settles as an inversion over the city. It can be a serious health hazard, especially to the very young, very old and those with lung-affected ailments.
While Beijing, London and other cities may have worse pollution, during the worst smog conditions, city dwellers in Los Angeles have little choice to avoid breathing it in. One way is to stay indoors in filtered air conditioning during the worst pollution, or drive up and away from the Los Angeles basin to clearer air in nearby mountains.
Summer in the city can also have unique advantages. The parks and playing fields are easily accessible to residents. During days and nights when July and August heat are at their highest, there are shady parks and walkways for strolling and other pleasant activities.
Urban weather conditions are not that much different than they are in other areas. However, people living in the city , especially those who work there, can always find ways to get away from or enjoy the worst of it. Even in Los Angeles, when the skies threatened, Gene Kelly could dance and sing:
“Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place.
Come on with the rain,
I’ve a smile on my face!”