A baby blizzard has hit Cologne. At least, they’re calling it a blizzard – though if this was Vladivostok or Sapporo it wouldn’t pass for more than a sneeze.
A friend told me that when you catch a bus in Sapporo in winter, the driver stops twenty yards before the bus-stop so it can skid smoothly to a halt. There are road-heating systems on slopes, as part of the Special Law for Management of Road Traffic in Snowy and Cold Regions. Water discharged from Mt Moiwa power station is pumped into the Yamahana river to create a Snow Flowing Gutter, which is able to handle fifty 11-ton dump truckloads of snow every hour. I like how those words are capitalized: Snow Flowing Gutter.
Anyway, the rare occurrence of snow in Cologne is calming. The best thing about it is how quiet everything becomes, like wool wrapped around a microphone.
Late last night I was catching up with pop culture, investigating some show called Jersey Shore, and reading a Vanity Fair article about the latest casualty among those washed out heiresses who are famous for nothing. Celebrity-seeking detritus: it was a reminder that the worst Monroe-wannabee spray-tanned excesses of our culture are best experienced in 2D: filtered through a blog post on Café Con Lesley or Gawker, frozen in photos where they are not allowed to speak.
After that, I really needed a snowcrash to wipe everything clean. As well as some clattering music to scour the trash from my eyes (see below- a selection c/o Bumrocks, Coco Solid and Molly Kongshuttle). In the words of Velvet Underground, “1000 dreams that would awake me: different colours made of tears.”
Casey has already picked out the baby’s name: Ava-Monroe, after Marilyn, who has long been her idol. “I see a lot of similarities between us,” Casey says. “Her life makes me sad. I don’t think she was very happy. She was just very, very complicated and sort of a deep person, and nobody realized that. They thought she was some dumb blonde, and she wasn’t. She was a smart, smart broad. And I think that sometimes people look at me and think, Oh, Casey Johnson, she’s stupid, she’s blonde, she’s an heiress, blah, blah, blah.”
There’s a hint of melancholy in her eyes, and I ask if she’s feeling well. “Yeah,” she says. “I’m just a little tired.” Back in New York a few days later, though, I get a call from Casey. She’s cheerful now, excited, and she’s been shopping again. “I got a crib, and a changing table, and I got a car seat, and a stroller,” she says. And something for Ava-Monroe she just couldn’t resist: “the cutest leopard baby bikini. Oh my gosh. She is going to be dressed to kill.”