This shall be that blog entry where I totally rag on Chicago weather. For those of you who also hail from the Windy City, or have spent even one winter there, you know exactly what I mean. It’s funny because as a kid, I didn’t even realize how much it sucked. I guess ignorance truly is bliss.
Then I got older. Spent a few winters not in Chicago. And just like Eve biting into that forbidden apple, I could never go back once I realized just how awesome other people had it… And how not awesome I had it.
Have you ever felt the inside of your nose freezing? This is not a hypothetical question. Like you can feel the cells of your skin shriveling up and dying? It doesn’t feel good. You might say, “Well, then put a scarf around it.” Sure, I could do that. Then riddle me this – do you know what it feels like to have your scarf glued to your face with frozen snot?
It’s a new kind of hell when you’re the sucker waiting for the CTA with a wind chill factor of minus ten degrees outside. That is why I became so very destitute during my college days in Chicago. I decided that forking over $12 a day to park my car at school was well worth the sacrifice. Ramen noodles are quite tasty actually.
For those of you who have experienced Chicago weather, you also know that though you may wake up to eighty degrees and sunny, it very possibly may be twenty degrees and flurries by nightfall. Such was the case one day at school. It was beautiful when I left my apartment that morning – and took the bus. Yet by the time my final class had concluded that evening, a lovely freezing rain was falling outside. And how far was my bus stop? Eight city blocks… Funny thing about frozen rain – it has a real perky bounce to it when hitting cement. It was delightful walking down those streets, not being able to look in ANY direction because no matter where I turned, little stinging pellets of rain were murdering my face.
In contrast, LA has pretty perfect weather all year round. Granted, we’re currently in the midst of a “winter storm” – i.e. it’s raining right now – but aside from the ten to fifteen days of the year that we suffer such unbearable treatment from Mother Nature, it’s just… nice. Sunny. Warm. Can’t really complain. *
The other day, I heard the song “The Rose” by Bette Midler on the radio. (On occasion, I like easy listening, okay?) I then had an epiphany – that song is about Chicago. True, it’s actually about never giving up on finding love, blah, blah, blah… But the analogy applies. Chicago is that seed beneath the bitter snow that with the sun’s love blooms in the spring. Granted, winters in the city just B-L-O-W (and winter lasts about six to nine months each year, give or take), but how amazing is that place once the snow melts away? The city comes to life with a vengeance. Wrigley Field. The Chicago Blues Festival. The Outdoor Film Festival. The Taste of Chicago. Buckingham Fountain. The Air and Water Show. Venetian night. Navy Pier. The Chicago Jazz Festival. Oak Street Beach. The Chicago Botanic Gardens. Lincoln Park Zoo. Millennium Park. The list goes on and on and on…
That’s why Chicagoans love their city so damn much. They appreciate it. Just like those lucky bastards blessed with good teeth or shiny hair, LA people just don’t understand how fortunate they are. Regrettably, I have now become one of those ungrateful jackasses. Doesn’t mean I’m coming home next year for Christmas. Sorry, Dad.
* Despite the fact that LA is experiencing a major water shortage crisis right now, even the local weather forecasters are beginning to complain about “all the rain” we’ve been having lately. I don’t get it. We’ll see how much everyone loves three hundred plus days of sunshine when in the near future we’re forced to have three-minute showers only twice a week. That’ll be fun.