Friday, December 09, 2005

Let It Snow

For all my regular and irregular readers in warmer climates, here's what you're missing in all that glorious heat and clear weather:

This wasn't the first snowfall of the winter, but it's been the heaviest so far. Right now we've got about 7 or so inches on the ground. Supposedly parts of Wisconsin got about a foot. The high was about 27-28F, the low around 18, though with the heavy winds off Lake Michigan, which at times slap you across the face, it felt like it was around 16F. My little car thankfully wasn't buried by the time I got to it (and I escaped a ticket, though it was parked at an expired meter). (Supposedly 10" fell at Midway, 7" at O'Hare, and 2" at some spot I've never heard of way west.)

I love photos of snow more than I like being in the snow. The reflections off the snowflakes are particularly lovely.

Clark Street in Chicago, on the way to Evanston. Some people were driving as if not one snowflake had fallen, while others were moving down the roads as if they'd never driven in snow in their lives (though given the neighborhood, that might not be too much of a stretch). The snow-required practices of breaking well before stoplights or signs, of not making sharp turns and slamming on the breaks, and of tailgating people are unknown to some of my fellow motorists. (Don't even get me started on turning and parking signals.)

Then there are the ambulatory people who feel that with the snow, they must dart out into the street more frequently than they usually do. I guess they really do believe their behinds magically turn into bumpers, though they probably wouldn't want to test the theory with some of the huge SUVs on the road.

Sheridan Road in Evanston. The falling snow created a curtain blocking out the moonlight and the streetlamps, so the sidewalk looked really dark. But it was beautiful up close.

A crossroads in Rogers Park. It's always easier to walk in the street when the snow is heaviest, but of course more dangerous too. But you can see the snow was more than ankle-deep on the sidewalks. The city won't get to this street until, oh, next week, if ever.

A crosswalk in Evanston near the university's business school main building. The man in the foreground, who nearly got hit by the turning car at left, yelled out to me, "G*ddamn muthaf*ckah crazy! You saw, he almost hit me!" Thankfully the GCM didn't him, because I really didn't want to see anyone get injured nor have to testify in court. In terms of the near accident, I wasn't surprised in the least, because as I said, some people were driving as if this were the middle of June (and this particular street is Pedestrian-Smashup-Central even on a clear day).

Clark Street in Evanston. The snow didn't seem to deter people from coming out, though it was falling pretty heavily when I took this photo. I'd brought my shovel just in case.

My building at the university. It's the oldest one on campus, and through the mist of snow looks eerily like a haunted house. Sometimes it's like one inside...just joking!


Unfortunately today's snow brought not only beauty and messiness, but tragedy. This evening, around 7:15 pm, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 that was attempting to land in the heavy snow and winds skidded off the runway at Midway Airport, on the city's southwest side, crashed through a perimeter fence (since Midway is surrounded completely by roads and houses), and ploughed into a busy intersection, at 55th St. and S. Central Ave (at map at left, courtesy of Mapquest). Two cars slammed into the jet and were crushed. A 6-year-old boy has died, and other family members in the car were injured. 11 people in total were injured, including 4 people on the plane and several in the other car. The 98 passengers and crew members in the jet evacuated via emergency chutes, and the entire airport, which I used to fly in and out of all the time on ATA, has been shut down until further notice.


  1. beautiful. makes me homesick for michigan. we had our honeymoon in Chicago. stayed at a hotel at Clark and Diversey.

  2. I'm on the east coast--I wake up fairly early, between 6 and 7, and you have paragraphs posted!

    How do you do it?

    Do you sleep?

    (When you want a laugh, trawl through the Kenyan blog rings to see the "comment competition." "I was here first!" I have recently joined the madness.)

    It's snowy and beautiful in Amherst. I will stay in all day.

  3. We got hit with several inches here in upstate New York too. I haven't been out yet, however.

  4. I love snow until the cars run on it and people walk over and turn it into slush.

  5. ahh! how appealing these images are! especially to someone seriously considering a re-location!

  6. Jilly, I know exactly where you mean. Clark and Diversey is right near one of my favorite theaters here.

    Keguro, sometimes I'm a laggard, but I was able to get this post out quickly. The toughest ones require lots of hyperlinks and then there's the disaster of changing fonts on Blogger...the html code for the previous post is a total mess. I tried 6-7 times to fix it, but....

    Bernie, I saw that you all got a lot of snow. Boston got hit the hardest, I think. I just hope it's not as cold there as it usually is here.

    Clay, I'm with you on the snow. Take the winter, please!

    Wadi, you're right it's pretty to look at. But driving in it, ugh! And now it's all filthy and icy--how did they deal with this stuff 100 years ago?

    Frank, I hope you're being sarcastic/ironic! Or maybe not. :)

    Unconquerable, yep, it does need to go. And soon. When's it going to be warmer than 32F? That's what we need, with some heavy duty sun!

  7. actually John I'm serious! I absoultely ADORE the fall and winter seasons. It's one of the primary reasons i've stayed on the east coast as long as I have. When I see another city (such as Chi-Town) covered in snow I get excited!

  8. I love snow! Thanks for sharing! I really miss Chicago and seasons in general. You are really lucky!

  9. Frank, I'd say you should visit Chi in January and February, when it drops down to 5F, with -10 wind chill. The East Coast gets cold, but man, this place is something else!!! I'm not a snow or cold-weather person in the least, so I'm over the extreme conditions here.

    Bahar, I'm glad the photos brought back good memories. I see you went to U of C, so you're very familiar with the city in winter. Enjoy SF, and thanks for dropping in!