i, being in downtown chicago, got my first real snowfall of the year on sunday. it's been cold, and it's definitely had freezing rain and light flurries, but it's the first time this season that the snow has actually stuck. and i love it! i'm a winter baby. i love all things cold and snow. perhaps because i'm just used to it by now, but as long as you get prepared, it really isn't that bad. even if my friend did spend our entire grocery trip singing a 'welcome to the jungle' parody called 'welcome to the tundra' (and by grocery shopping i mean drinking, whole foods has a huge bar.) but it's just another winter, and it's all in how you prepare for it - you can survive! here's my top things you need to know about surviving winter in chicago:
1. marking your shoveled spots with plastic lawn chairs is absolutely legit. you did all that work to shovel it, you're going to get it back when you come home! if someone moves them, and parks in the spot, your neighbors will key their car. 100%. the city tries every year to discourage this move, but they'll never win.
2. the law in chicago states that when weather is like, well, weather in chicago, it is not the responsibility of those downtown skyscrapers if ice falls off the roof and hits you. it is assumed that people are put on notice by the weather (we give people too much credit.) be aware of your surroundings, because you're not getting anything if you fall or get hit by ice chunks.
3. this is not hollywood. and i love 'what not to wear' as much as the next girl, but the fact is, no one here judges what you're wearing. so if your coat and boots and flannel long underwear are the ugliest things you could possibly buy, but keep you warm, buy them and wear them at all times. this is not a fashion show, this is -2 windchill on a good day. no one is noticing, no one is even looking because if you don't keep your head down, your eyeballs will freeze. priorities.
4. and the fact is, it's cold here more often than it is anything else, so you'll get way more use out of your winter wardrobe than your bikinis and sun dresses. spend accordingly.
5. if you're going to venture out for things other than work, make it count. i recommend bye bye liver. it's an interactive comedy drinking game/show. you'll love it. and you'll be happily buzzed when you leave. alcohol coat - it's a real thing.
6. public transportation actually isn't any less reliable in the winter than it is the rest of the year. yes, it sucks the rest of the year, so there's no need to change your schedule. it's reliably crappy all the time - if your usual bus is 10 minutes late in the summer, it's still 10 minutes late in the winter. this surprises me too.
and finally, my favorite tip -
7. there's apps to help you. download them! first, track where the snowplows are here, and then, download all the available apps - where the plows have already been, where to find fast street parking, where the 'no parking if snow is 2 inches' streets are, and most importantly - where your car is if you think it got towed (i'm looking at you taylor.) if someone else is going to do the work for you, embrace it!
anyone out there a winter lover like me? or are you all residing in warmer climates?