It was cold.
Of course it was cold. They were in the middle of the New York City during one of the worst winters on record, of course it was cold!
The point was that they actually felt cold.
Maybe it was the fact that for the first time, they couldn’t see any stars shining through the thick pollution clouding the sky. It wasn’t just the smog coming from all the cars or even from the smoke stacks. It was the light pollution that stunned them.
Maybe this industrial revolution that the former colonies (as they had heard the new country referred to) wasn’t going to be as great as people seemed to think. They certainly didn’t understand much about what was happening, just that they couldn’t see the stars while staying in any of the major cities anymore.
Maybe it was time to see what life was like out West, they’d heard that it was always warm out there and if they could see the stars out at night then they wouldn’t feel so small and cut off from the rest of the world.
They wouldn’t be so cold.