Shawn Mascia is tough.
So, it was no wonder that with most of New England holed up inside their homes and a blizzard packing hurricane-force winds and feet of snow whipping around them, a 26-year-old East Aurora native was “the guy wearing only a business suit” charging toward his Boston office Tuesday morning right past an ABC News crew.
“Look at this guy,” said ABC News Senior Meteorologist Rob Marciano, accosting Mascia mid-step, “where you headed?”
“Going to the office,” Mascia told him.
Marciano shot back, “You’ve got to be kidding me?”
Marciano, a former co-anchor at “Entertainment Tonight,” quickly grabbed Mascia’s briefcase while a colleague used his iPhone to film his launch into a minute-long impromptu interview while the three walked down the street.
That interview was broadcast first on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” It later aired on “The View” and then ABC’s “World News Tonight.”
Mascia never expected to attract attention.
“I had no idea,” he said, believing the two men were just blogging about the storm.
Until he made the evening news.
Mascia became another face of Buffalo’s toughness in the face winter weather brought to a national audience.
“It’s pretty hilarious,” Mascia said when reached by telephone in Boston late Tuesday night.
In the video, Marciano questioned whether Mascia was upset his boss made him work when the rest of the city shut down. He got as simple an answer as any from the 2010 SUNY Geneseo graduate.
“Hey, I’m from Buffalo,” Mascia said. “I’m used to this.”
“My Buffalo blood has not thinned,” he later told The Buffalo News. “If I have to be outside for a few minutes, the suit is plenty.”
What Mascia didn’t tell ABC News was that, although he lives in Charlotte, N.C., now, it’s not his first big storm of 2014-15.
“In the late fall, I went back to Buffalo and it was the week of that big storm,” Mascia said. “I feel like I’ve moved from Buffalo but the snow is still following me.”
By 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Mascia made it safely back to his hotel room in a return trip through the New England blizzard, a storm in which, he said, “the bite lived up to the bark.”
Nearly 30 inches of snow, along with hurricane-force winds, were reported in eastern Massachusetts as of late Tuesday. Power outages abound and a massive storm surge damaged properties along Cape Cod and other areas.
Over the years, there have been lots of Buffalo versus Boston story lines: Jim Schoenfeld and Wayne Cashman. Brad May and Ray Bourque. Now Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick.
So, as one of the few people to take the brunt of the double lake-effect snowstorm of November and this week’s nor’easter head on, who does Mascia think wins this year’s battle of the snowstorms?
“I don’t think you can really compare anything to the 9 feet of snow we got in Buffalo,” he said.
Or, as Mascia more bluntly characterized Boston’s storm in the ABC News video on the eve of the 38th anniversary of Buffalo’s own historic blizzard: “It’s like spring break.”