“This is unbelievable,” said the woman coming down the hill.

I was headed up the hill. Whoever owns the property on the southwest corner of William Street and Acushnet Avenue never bothers to shovel the sidewalks. This weekend’s storm left those sidewalks covered in about an inch and a half of solid slippery ice. The woman and I were both walking very carefully; the footing was bad that I did not look up at her when she spoke; but then she wasn’t talking to me, she was complaining to the absentee landlord.

“Look at this shit,” she muttered. “This is unbelievable.”

Down the street, I could hear the whir of automobile tires spinning on ice, as a driver tried to get traction pulling out of a parking space. A man came walking down the middle of the road, because at least there was sand and salt on the road. Winter is here, with a vengeance.