There are lots of reasons why I am proud to be a seasoned Chicagoan. Deep-dish pizza, smooth jazz, Mighty Lake Michigan, and President Elect's new offices: it's all here making snapshots and composites of my definition of home.
Summer is divine. A city full of green lakefront that hosts some of the best outdoors music and food around. Fall and the collegiate buzz of a new school year send me into inappropriate academic pursuits. Spring is like cold press relief and there is an unspoken joy in bare legs after a long winter.
The colder months, for sure, they have their pleasures. The first snow is always an exciting event. White fluffy precipitation covers the ground and for several hours the city falls into a quiet sort of hush. But, as I embark on my 21st winter, I have to assert that on the whole...
I walked out of my apartment this morning and tears gathered in the corner of my eyes because of the wind.
Our little headless snowman stands in defiance to its maternal cold front.
I do not share in his adolescent behaviors.
As I walked through the cutting wind I composed a list of all the necessary things one needs to survive their first Chicago winter.
1. Chapstick (I have instituted a new chapstick program into my life this year. I bought 12 sticks. That's right. 12. And I put one in every pocket of every bag and coat I own. Somehow I still can't seem to find one when I need it and I have managed to put one blue tube through the wash already. My life is a work in progress)
2. Intensive Care Body Lotion (Without being too glamorous...wind burn sucks)
3. Shaving Gel (see above comment)
4. Boot waterproof spray (The only thing worse than being cold is being wet and cold. Ask Bear Grylls, he knows)
5. Lined Gloves (don't waste your time with cute dainty gloves. I will laugh at your inability to cope with reality)
6. Travel Mug/Hot Drink (Be courteous. Love your neighbor. Had Jesus lived in Chicago he would have changed water into coffee. Trust me.)
7. Activate and Vitamin C (I may look like a geriatric but I swear to you that I have never been severely sick post its introduction into my winter diet)
8. Below 10 degrees a face covering is usually good. Possibly ideal. It serves a dual purpose in Albany Park: warmth and a heightened possibility of less catcalls. Emphasis on the word "possibility".
All this to say that I am a salt stained survivor. I love Chicago even when it is covered in brown slush and black ice.
If human summer heat saturates and expands your thoughts then the cold clear winter wind chill carries them far away.
It's totally true about the possibility about fewer catcalls with a face covering. People around here are odd.