Ice Ice Baby

March 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )


One day last week, I walked out of my office during my lunch break with the intent to run to State Street and return a pair of shoes.  Upon my arrival on the sidewalk, I noticed firetrucks blocking off parts of the street with yellow Caution tape and firefighters frantically waving people away from that general area.  Then I looked up and saw a chunk of ice roughly the size of a computer monitor (old school, none of this flat screen stuff) falling from the sky.  People started yelling and some guy who was trying to get in a cab dove out of the way just as the ice landed on hood of the car, denting it.

Heads up!

That was when shit got real.  A paramedic was hit full on by the ice and was taken to the hospital in serious but stable condition (I did not see this but it happened right around the time I was out there).  Apparently, many people have died by falling ice over the years – not a way I’d want to go, that’s for sure.

So people everywhere began cozying up to the sides of buildings in the hopes that a flimsy plastic awning would protect them from the mounds of falling ice that was melting off of the downtown skyscrapers.  I found a few streets that weren’t in harms way and so made it to my destination and back safely but the worst was far from over.  When I left for home a mere two hours later, the entire downtown loop had been shut down due to the falling ice.  As I’m sure you can imagine, closing some of the busiest streets in Chicago during rush hour wasn’t the easiest thing to navigate around.  It was like a mass exodus in the streets, as everyone was avoiding the sidewalks and the cars couldn’t drive there anyway.  I wasn’t even allowed to exit on the side of the building that I normally walk out of – since the streets were closed, I had to walk around a block before winding up where I should’ve been to begin with.  Make sense?  Yeah, it was confusing to live too.  The streets weren’t the only thing closed down and a couple stops on the el were temporarily  disabled as well.  Oh, and there was a helicopter filming the Sears Tower so I felt like I was in a bad action flick for a few exciting minutes.  People were walking around with umbrellas – like that was going to protect them from a hunk of ice hurling down 100 stories.

This was yet another harsh lesson in Chicago winter’s for yours truly.  Never before have I lived in an area where you could be walking along a sidewalk in the busiest part of the city and be in danger of death by icicle.  This city never ceases to amaze me while simultaneously making me fear for my very precious life.  It all seems to have melted by this point and close to 3 million people in Chicago are hoping for no more snowfall through the rest of the spring.  I know that’s not very realistic but I didn’t think it was realistic to fear melting snow and look where that got me.

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