ABOVE: Possible application of Snömyltör, clearing the footpath along Pier A (Dramatization—image via HBO)
The Loch Ness Monster. Sasquatch. The Hoboken Snow Melter.
We’ve all heard these legends, passed down over the ages as tall tales told to simple folk who yearned to believe in their existence. Of course in the contemporary “pics or it didn’t happen” era, seeing truly is believing. There is no substitute for authentic footage.
In the case of Nessie and Bigfoot, we’ve all been down that road before—getting duped by less-than-scrupulous conjurers seeking media glory. Here in Hoboken, the legend of the snow melter, or Snömyltör* (as we just decided to name it, just now, solely for the purposes of this article), has us wondering if we’re not being set up for the same unfulfilling disappointment.
The legend of Snömyltör came to light recently, as our local media colleagues at the Jersey Journal reported on the creature’s existence in a February 5 article detailing the snow clearing strategies of Hudson County municipalities.
Hoboken City spokesman Vijay Chaudhuri reportedly told the Journal‘s Peter D’Auria that once snow is cleared from “key highly trafficked areas,” the city plans to use a city-owned snow melter to dispose of it.
According to the article, Chaudhuri said the machine is kept in a secret location in the city.
“We prefer, really, not to give the location,” said Chaudhuri, “just because we don’t want people flocking there to look at it.”
And with that sentence, the legend of Snömyltör took wing.
Amy Wilson, renowned commentator and resident expert on Hudson County political cryptozoology, was quick to raise the alarm that this mythical beast may well be dwelling among us.
Wait. Weehawken, Hoboken, and WNY have a mysterious snow melting machine (note Jersey City does not) that they don’t want people to see? I mean now I want to see it. https://t.co/EFUFvEsXLI pic.twitter.com/E6OFqjlWTm
— Amy Wilson (@amywilson) February 5, 2021
It would be easy to dismiss the story as some flight of fancy, mere folklore told around the water coolers at Hoboken City Hall. Yet, tangible evidence of a “snow melter”—likely related to the Snömyltör (note the the dragon depiction)—has surfaced, proving not only the existence of such a thing, but its historic presence here on the western shores of the Hudson.
— City of Hoboken (@CityofHoboken) January 28, 2016
Giving further credence to the legend, Hoboken City Council brought the shadowy tale of Snömyltör into the sunlight of public record, amid an hour-long discussion on the city’s snow clearing efforts over the past few weeks. Hearing whispers of its awesome power, desperate Hobokenites have been clamoring for Snömyltör’s fiery vengeance—praying the beast would smite the ruthless mounds of snow and ice currently choking the streets of this peaceful riverfront community.
According to Hoboken Director of Environmental Services Jennifer Gonzalez, Snömyltör (she did not refer to it by this name, because we’ve just made it up) is indeed formidable: “built in 2003, it melts 60 tons an hour, diesel consumption is 86 gallons an hour, it’s got a 775 gallon tank. And it’s super heavy, you can tow it at less than 10 miles an hour – and it’s 40,000 pounds.”
As our colleague John Heinis at Hudson County View reports, Gonzalez, “further stated that the bulky piece of equipment was purchased from the county for $65,000 in 2016. At that point the machine had only been used three times, but said that by 2021 standards it just isn’t efficient, with each tank of fuel—which lasts about nine hours—costing about $2,225.”
When asked why the City owned such a behemoth, Gonzalez told the Council, “I cannot speak to former decisions … I don’t know the answer to that.”
So there you have it—Snömyltör IS REAL. The government even said so, man.
But we still want to see it… and we’re not alone.
On Wednesday, our colleagues at @HobokenMatters issued a public request for footage, verifying the existence of Snömyltör.
🤔❄️Does anyone in #Hoboken have footage of the “snow melter” that the City has claimed to own during the presentation currently being made at tonight’s City Council meeting? Is this the type of snow melter the presentation refers to? https://t.co/T05s5Kqk1F pic.twitter.com/Q6yDHIkYUV
— HobokenMatters (@HobokenMatters) February 18, 2021
We will up the ante, and offer the reward of one ice cold beer/hot cup of coffee/warm pastry (#ShopLocal) for anyone able to provide us with authentic, publishable footage of Snömyltör—either dormant or in action. All sources will remain anonymous, unless otherwise specified. City of Hoboken employees are most certainly eligible to claim the bounty.
Please help us put the people’s mind to rest. Help us find Snömyltör.
The truth is out there.
(*Why the umlaut? Why not?!?! Umlauts make everything cööler…)