Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blizzard brings out best in Chicagoans…



It comes as no surprise, but the adversity of the last 24 hours has brought out the best in people across the city from what I have seen. It is amazing how easy it is to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger anywhere – on a subway platform, a bus stop, a street corner (or more correctly right now the middle of the street as close to the corner as you can get). Perhaps the most common way to make a new friend in the city since last night is helping someone free their car which has become immobilized in a snow bank that once was a street intersection. The best were the workers I spoke with downtown last night - CTA employees, streets and sanitation guys, building maintenance guys, surprisingly friendly and cheerful despite the circumstances. The bus and trains were running smoothly and the sidewalks and streets amazingly clear, due to these guys hard work. Hats off to the workers of Chicago, keeping this city running in the most extreme of circumstances.

And all of this makes me slightly ashamed of some of my recent thoughts. As of late I have been contemplating a move to join the rest of my family in Southern California. Weather being at the heart of my growing temptation to abandon my home town of 40 years. But today has reminded me of some of the reasons I love this city so much. I remember my mother telling me a few years after she moved to L.A. that Southern Californians can’t deal with any adversity in their lives, because they are used to everything being so easy. I saw it first hand myself on a few of my recent visits. Last June, when I was in L.A. I couldn't help but laugh at the constant moaning about the “June gloom”. Everyday, for half the day it was 70 degrees and sunny. But because the mornings were on the cool side and a grey fog hung over the town till noon each day, everyone complained about the terrible “June gloom”. They need to try 10 degrees and two feet of snow and see how that compares to the “June gloom.” Living in Chicago really does develop a type of toughness that I think needs to be celebrated.

So for the moment I am enjoying the Blizzard of 2011. But I am sure those feelings will wear off pretty damn quick. And lets keep blaming all the problems from the Blizzard on Rahm Emmanuel. Maybe we can turn this into his Bilandic moment. I can dream can’t I.

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