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Chicago Winter for Professionals Only

Chicago winter is about to drag the city below zero for 48 hours. If you think that sounds like a weather emergency, chances are you live somewhere else.

Where’d Chicago Go?: Skyscraper Roofdeck Fog Bank

It’s one thing to watch the Sears Tower disappear into the murky whiteness from below. It’s quite another to stand atop one of Marina City’s twin, 61st-floor open-air roofdecks and try and make out the Chicago Loop from inside an aerial fog bank, itself.

Pride and Piquedness

I rarely engage with other Chicagoans in the city’s seemingly official pasttime of grousing about winter weather. But when it’s 90 in the shade, my plaintive side takes a more public turn. No matter how cold the spring, we always face Divine retribution come late June. This city bakes from Gay Pride through the Taste of Chicago. Why? I think it’s in the Bible.

When the Wind Blows (at Marina City)

Friends rarely believe me when I tell them about the grandmother on a rocking chair who lives in the walls at Marina City. At least, that’s who it sounds like inhabits the cast-in-place concrete of my high-rise corncob home every time a stiff wind blows through downtown Chicago. Here’s proof.

Cincinnati Jamie and the Hot Wings of Doom

The day I celebrated my 38th birthday by visiting my favorite Windy City hot wings joint, I never expected to have to outrun funnel clouds on a mad dash to make it safely home. Until the moment when every tornado siren in Chicago sounded the alarm.

Vince Vaughn Closes Access to Loop in 8-Degree Weather

Just how far is the City of Chicago willing to sell itself out to movie filming? A closed street here and there to accommodate a movie shoot is one thing. Allowing a studio to close almost every single bridge between the Loop and the Near North Side on a Friday evening is something else entirely. Thanks, Mayor Daley–and Vince Vaughn, too.

Whither the Weather Drama King

Popular local blog Chicagoist has decided to assess local meteorologists by comparing forecasts with the weather that actually comes to pass. I wonder how that’s going to work out for Tom Skilling, Chicago’s co-most popular (along with Jerry Taft)–but always overly dramatic–weatherman.

Seasonal Perversity in Chicago

Or, It’s Just Weather, Dammit! Much as I like her column, there are two times of year I just can’t condone Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich: the beginning and end of summer. When we get to read her complain about…the beginning and the end of summer.

Fear of Falling

Walking out my front door and into the remains of a bank robbery this evening brought to mind the absurdity of life. Never knowing where it’ll take you, it’s always best to be prepared for any eventuality. Like hearing the tornado sirens go off. Or wondering what happened to your parachute. Or finally finding out you’re a talented writer, for that matter.

Weary of Weather Whining

There’s nothing I hate more than a lifelong Chicagoan who complains about the weather. How did that become the collective civic passtime, anyway?