Here comes ‘The Hawk’

By Samuel Charles

Do you feel that?

The air is getting dryer and colder by the day. It’s not even November yet. The brief Indian Summer we were blessed with a few weeks ago was almost a bad thing, spoiling Chicago residents and fooling them about what lies ahead. has estimated Chicago will receive 50–58 inches of snow this winter. Awesome. But after last February’s Snowpocalypse/Snowmageddon/ Nuclear Snowlocaust, most locals walk with an air of “I can handle anything.” And that’s the truth. They can. But their blizzard-coping skills aren’t a result of last February’s storm that crippled the city for three days. It’s a result of years of living through winters that have crippled their spirits.

Tough winters build character. They make summer that much better. But walking around Columbia and talking with friends who aren’t from Chicago, I’ve found that some people just don’t get it.

We all know Chicago winters are brutal. Even without 58 inches of snow on the ground during the course of the winter season, the sub-zero temperatures and face-shredding wind from Lake Michigan make the downtown area especially hellish. But complaining about it doesn’t do much to alleviate the issue. Talking ad nauseam about how many layers you’re wearing won’t warm you up. Exercising your jaw won’t do much to raise your body temperature, so why bother?

It’s not like Chicago winters are some kind of secret that no one outside the city limits knows about. We choose to live here and suffer through the six-month winter because the three-month summer is just that great. Winter is the one time of the year when the old Chicago weather adage doesn’t apply. If you wait around for 10 minutes, hoping it will change, it won’t. You’ll more than likely just end up with frostbite and a ruined day.

Surviving a Chicago winter is something that should be worn like a badge of honor upon entering another region of the country, but acting like it’s some kind of distinguishing feature while still in Cook County is inviting people to issue a verbal beating. So, for those contemplating appealing to the locals for sympathy once winter sets in, a word of advice: Don’t.

The fact that Chicago is the third most populous city in the country, along with having one of the highest sales taxes in the country—9.75 percent—means there

must be some reason to stay here. Perfect summer, overflowing culture outlets and a never-ending soap opera that the locals refer to as “City Hall” make the winter

worth all the suffering.

We’re all in it together, so we might as well be cordial about it.