Tag Archives: winter

It’s coming…






…or whatever other silly memes are floating around. Gah!

I used to applaud Chicago for keeping its cool about the snow. But the news, online and face-to-face chatter have been crazy this time around.

All the freaking out reminds me of my high school job as a grocery store cashier. Whenever meteorologists predicted an inch or more of snow, hordes of people would clean out the bread and milk aisles out of fear of never eating again. It doesn’t snow as much in Kentuckiana (the area around Louisville where Indiana and Kentucky high five each other), so people aren’t as laid back about it. Schools inevitably get delayed or closed. The news has special coverage of the conditions. And so on.

In all seriousness, I hope everyone stays safe and keeps their cool out there. And I hope our 2011 blizzard is nothing like Snowmageddon ’09.

(Link via Jeff Cenna @jeffc76. Awesome find, sir!)


1 Comment

Filed under Chicago, weather

Surviving winter

Winter is particularly hard on people after the new year. After the holidays pass, all we’re left with is snow, frigid temperatures and perpetual gray for four months. And let’s not forget the cranky moods.

I’ve seen it—and experienced it—firsthand. The long stretch of winter makes grumpers out of the pleasantest of people and recluses out of the most outgoing. These days, I don’t want to leave my apartment. I don’t want to write in this blog. I don’t want to do anything, except curl up in front of the TV and rot my brain.

That’s why I’ve resolved to not to let winter win. We’ve got three more months of winter to go, and we must carry on.

Though they may not be the same as Bear Grylls’, here are my winter survival strategies:

Mix up the wardrobe

Living in a semi-tundra, your first instinct getting dressed is probably to throw on jeans, a hoodie and warm boots. Mine is. And (un)luckily, I have a job where I can get away with this. BUT I’m not going to do that. I resolve to wear dresses, jewelry, goldy gaudy chain belts, lipstick and even heels. It seems silly, but stepping up the wardrobe a notch does wonders for the mood.

The best part of this resolution is that you might need to do a little shopping to make it happen. Prints and colors, voila!

Stop complaining

Here’s the thing, we chose to live in Chicago or other respective cold locations. Not Florida, not California, not Mexico or the Caribbean. And complaining about how cold it is isn’t going to change the thermometer. Only make our cranky moods worse. So, let’s resolve to not complain.

Start a project

As mentioned, winter transforms me into a lazy bum. I feel uninspired 98% of the time. For instance, it’s taken me a week to finish this post. So, when the hankering to start a project strikes, I run with it. Like these New Year’s cards. My procrastinating self failed to get Christmas cards out or even addressed. So, I made these instead. I had grand ambitions to send them to all fam and pals, but they ended up going to the peeps who sent us cards. (Sorry)

Make yourself get out of the house

There are some days on the weekend where I don’t have a need to leave the apartment. Like today. My friends came to me since we were hosting brunch. I didn’t get around to leaving the apartment the rest of the day. Too busy sipping bloody marys, watching movies and napping. Joe just suggested getting Thai delivered. The restaurant is a block and half away. I vow to leave the apartment and pick it up, thereby saving $5 on tip and delivery.


I’m tempted to add “Remind yourself of Chicago in the summer,” but I get annoyed when people say how great summer is during the winter. Because, let’s be honest, that’s just mean. We’ve got a lot of winter left.

What are your winter survival strategies?

If you are miserable and pissed off at Chicago, this week, Time Out Chicago had some nice reasons to love/hate Chicago.


Filed under Chicago, city life, weather, winter

Exposed skin sightings

The weather in Chicago in March is a big tease.

One day, it can be 65 and sunny, only to reach a high of 25 degrees the next day. I know this because it happened last week. I wore heels and a light jacket one day and was sporting winter boots and a coat the following.

Take note of the lack of boot or sock in the picture. Happy day of weather.

Take note of the lack of boot or sock. Happy day of weather.

It was 56 degrees today, according to my widget. Taking advantage of the warmer temperatures on a leisurely stroll, I saw something I hadn’t seen in Chicago in months—kneecaps.

I also witnessed the following:

  • One man wearing a tank top
  • Two people wearing shorts
  • One brave lady in a skirt, no tights or leggings
  • A dozen or so short-sleeve-shirt-wearers

Winters here are so bad that by the time March rolls around, Chicagoans will look for the first excuse to expose their bare skin. It’s funny. When the weather peaks above 50 degrees, that seems to be when clothing is shed. It’s the opposite of what happens in fall. The same temperature in September or October warrants the addition of layers and the adoption of jackets and scarves.

With warmer weather also comes a shift in behavior. People don’t look pissed off walking down the street. They walk at a more leisurely pace. You might even hear laughter.

I’m encouraged by this brave behavior. Spring (hopefully) is in the near future. Besides the wardrobe changes, I saw several previews of spring, shown below.

Ice cream headlined at local cafes.

Ice cream headlined at local cafes.

Outdoor seating debuted on Division St.

Outdoor seating debuted on Division St.

A crowd of people sans jackets, and sleeves in some cases. Some guy also thought I was checking him out since I was taking a photo. Oops.

A crowd of people who abandoned coats and sleeves. Some guy also thought I was checking him out since I was taking the photo. Oops.


Filed under Chicago, fashion, urban behavior, weather

Where have all the sunglasses gone?

It’s a mystery. All the sunglasses in the city seemed to have disappeared.

Think about it: Excluding bikers and drivers, when was the last time that you saw someone wearing sunglasses? I couldn’t recall any such occasion, so I scanned the riders on my bus yesterday morning to see if anyone was sporting a pair. The only person I noticed wearing them was the dude next to me, who was rocking a pair of black Ray-Bans. The thing is, it was a particularly sunny day. Had it been a sunny spring day, I bet that you would see a plethora of sunglasses wearers. Why could this be? I have a few theories based on an informal poll I conducted with a few coworkers and friends.

It’s just another item to keep tabs on
In the winter, it’s impossible to leave the house without running through a mental checklist: coat, hat, scarf, gloves, etc. A pair of sunglasses is just another annoyance to add to this list. One coworker pointed out that dressing for the outdoors may be simpler if there was some way to combine sunglasses into your hat in some way. Not a bad idea.

Like everyone else, you’ve given up on fashion
We’re in the long stretch of winter now…the time of year where spring is still months away, it’s below zero half the time, and the snow never seems to end. It’s no wonder people lose interest in what they wear. And forget dressing up or accessorizing. You don’t care what other people look like, either, so you don’t need sunglasses to see clearly. As one of my friends put it, “I have given up on looking at anyone on the street in the winter.”

You’re afraid of looking like a “hipster” or a “trixie”

Some of the only people wearing sunglasses this time of year fit into these categories. And perhaps by wearing sunglasses, you’re afraid of being compartmentalized. You may even judge those who do wear sunglasses. One coworker has actually ceased wearing sunglasses for this exact reason. “I used to wear sunglasses on the train, but have stopped because people look at me like I’m pretentious,” she said.

You no longer care about effects of UV rays
You don’t see the sun that often, so you don’t think you need protection from those harmful UV rays. Even if the glare bouncing off the snow is blinding, you don’t wear sunglasses. I don’t even carry mine in my purse right now.

Maybe you wear sunglasses this time of year. Maybe you don’t. The point is that we’ve got a lot more winter to endure. Putting preconceived notions aside, I think it would be beneficial to everyone to sport a pair of sunglasses and dream of the warmer, sunnier days ahead. We’ve got to do something, right?

Leave a comment

Filed under Chicago, fashion, hipsters, weather