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Chiberia over Chiraq

By: Emiliano Vazquez-Parrales, Section Editor for Student Voices,

Well, Chicago, it’s cold.  As I watched the news, it said that this next arctic blast is supposed to get at low as -30 degrees.  The only comfort anyone should find in that is that it could be worse. In fact, not too long ago, it actually was worse (-50 in the last freeze over).

Truth be told, I actually don’t mind the cold so much, the reason being because it keeps stupid people with guns off the streets and in their homes.  I love a good scorching Chicago summer as much as the next person, but as soon as the mercury hits 70, we start hearing reports of people getting shot all over the place.  At least the only concern I have when walking the streets of Chicago right now is hypothermia and frostbite.

All kidding aside though, the main reason I enjoy Chicago winters is because the city just seems so much more calm than it does during the summer.  The snow covered streets are barren most of the time, due to the cold and darkness that descends upon the city earlier than usual.

We all know that our beautiful skyline is even better at night, especially when you stand by the Adler Planetarium. In the summer, the museum campus is swarming with tourists taking pictures of the skyline at night and, as much as I want people to visit the city, it is nice to just be able to stand there in absolute silence by the frozen lake and watch the city’s slumber.

The cold also tends to keep people from wanting to go out, so places that are usually packed 24/7 during the summer have plenty of space.  You can even have a conversation with someone without having to yell over other patrons.  For example, a buddy of mine and I went to Kuma’s over on Belmont on a Wednesday night not too long ago and were immediately seated.  During the summer, the wait at Kuma’s is usually half an hour and it takes maybe about that long to get your food.  It took them 15 minutes to serve us after we placed our order when I last went.

I was born and raised in Chicago, so by this point I am already acclimated to the cold. I don’t really mind going out and taking advantage of what Chicago winters have to offer.  For those of you that hate the cold I have this to say: Don’t be a wuss.  Just bundle up and plan ahead.  Winter won’t last forever, (or will it?) so go take advantage of the city while you can because before you know it you’re going to be complaining about how hot it is.

Stay Warm UIC!


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