NEW YORK (AP) -- Brilliant sunshine and gently rising temperatures followed the mammoth blizzard that paralyzed Washington and set a single-day snowfall record in New York City, enabling millions to dig out Sunday and enjoy the winter.

The timing could not have been better: Most people stayed home as the heaviest snow fell Friday evening and all day Saturday, enabling crews to clear roads and rails, then awoke Sunday to see grimy cities blanketed in lovely but unfamiliar terrains.

It just right for a huge snowball fight in Baltimore, where more than 600 people responded to organizer Aaron Brazell's invite on Facebook.

"I knew people would be cooped up in their houses and wanting to come outside," said Brazell, who was beaned by multiple blasts of perfectly soft but firm snow.

But treacherous conditions remained: Waist-high piles of plowed snow blocked Manhattan bus stops, forcing riders to risk waiting on streets, inches from traffic. Judy Tenenbaum refused, and walked a dozen blocks to reach a stop where at least some snow was cleared.

"I decided, I don't want to die," she said, boarding a bus to the YMCA.

At least 28 deaths were blamed on the weather, first in car crashes, and then while shoveling snow or breathing carbon monoxide.

The storm dropped snow from the Gulf Coast to New England. The heaviest official report was 42 inches, in Glengary, West Virginia, but huge accumulations elsewhere stranded tens of thousands of travelers and forced countless others to change plans.

Broadway shows reopened on the Great White Way Sunday after going dark at the last minute during the snowstorm, but Bruce Springsteen called off his Sunday concert at Madison Square Garden. Museums remained closed in Washington, and the House of Representatives postponed votes until February, citing the storm's impact on travel.

Flying remained particularly messy after nearly 12,000 weekend flights were canceled. Airports resumed very limited service in New York City, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, which said it got an entire winter's snow in two days. Washington-area airports remained closed Sunday after the punishing blizzard.

Major airlines also canceled hundreds of flights for Monday. Along with clearing snow and ice from facilities and equipment, the operators of airlines, train and transit systems had to figure out how to get snowbound employees to work.

Amtrak operated a reduced number of trains on all its routes, serving many people who couldn't get around otherwise, spokesman Marc Magliari said. But bus and rail service was expected to be limited around the region into Monday, making for a complicated commute.