Chicago Blizzard 2011, Day 2: Early Morning
On waking up this morning, I threw on some warm clothes and headed back out the door. I was going to try to get up earlier, but Liz pointed out to me that I probably wanted to wait until there was more daylight out. So I slept in a bit, and headed out at 7AM.
I was pretty excited from last night’s excursion, and felt like a kid when I woke up this morning. Camera in hand, I went outside to a neighborhood utterly blanketed with snow.
The front door, with a small drift of snow.
Here’s the main courtyard.
Octavio, our building guy, was out early and working hard to clear the sidewalks.
On walking from my door to where Octavio was, I hit a few patches of snow that got up past my knee.
Hard core joggers, out for a run.
One of the cars, parked along our sreet.
Looking at the main sidewalk area, in front of our building.
The car and scooter.
Where the snowplowed sidewalk ends. As I continued down the street towards Logan Square, I ran into larger banks of snow.
I decided to turn down an alley, near New Wave Coffee. Given the winds, a lot of snow got piled onto the side of this house (and buried the electric meter).
The LepreCAN, with its door blocked.
Looking down the alley, I spotted a guy whose car was stuck. Not in a parking spot, not in a garage – the car was stuck right smack in the middle of the alley. From afar, I asked if I could take his photo and he said “Sure.” Then, he told me to wait and climbed up on top of his car with his snow shovel.
As I got closer, we fell to talking. I learned his name was Matt, and he was out last night trying to get to a birthday party. He was on Ashland around 12 – 1AM, and said he saw cars stuck in large snow drifts. And then he also said he saw buses and fire trucks stuck as well. That must have been crazy to see.
Since I was sticking around taking photos, Matt offered to play me a song he had written. Apparently, he had composed the song about a year ago – during another snowstorm. And I think he got around to recording it last night, or very recently.
Matt was incredibly friendly, and remarkably upbeat for being up at 7AM and trying to dig his car free. Before I left, I found out he was in a band. Matt went so far as to give me a free CD, along with a CD that had his song on it (it was something he had copied off his home computer, as he had just recorded it). How cool was that?
Some of the dumpsters in the alley, leading to Milwaukee Avenue.
Out on Milwaukee (with Logan Boulevard behind me), looking South.
This is Juan, who was pacing back and forth a bit, in the street. He works at Logan Square Animal Hospital and was waiting around for the doctor to arrive. When I asked if he had to come in to work today, he told me that there were folks inside he was responsible for. Pretty awesome.
Juan had made his way over from Lincoln Park, and I think the doc was coming in from Oak Park or something. My sense was Juan had a long wait in store, but thankfully nearby New Wave Coffee was open.
For those who remember, the Logan Square Animal Hospital is where we found an abandoned dog a year and a half ago. After taking him in for a day, we had him checked out at a nearby vet and saw he had a broken leg.
Ultimately, we decided to hand him over to an organization called Northcentral Maltese Rescue, but in doing so we had to fill out his name on the official documents (we ended up calling him Henson). I’m happy to say Henson emerged from surgery all patched up, and recovered nicely.
Standing in the middle of Milwaukee Ave, looking South. Lots of folks foregoing the sidewalk and, instead, walking down the street.
High snowbanks along Milwaukee.
At first, I thought this was a snow truck… but as it turns out, it was a garbage truck with a plow attached to the front. I guess it doesn’t really matter, so long as the job gets done.
Logan Boulevard, looking towards Logan Square.
Logan Boulevard, looking towards Sacramento.
Cars stuck, across the street.
This is where I was last night. But it was a pure blanket of snow, as I saw no traces of my footsteps anywhere.
The cars along my side street.
Scooter and car.
Looking down Sacramento, SW corner of Logan and Sacramento.
Buried car, Sacramento Ave.
Next, I walked behind our apartment complex, to where all the secondary parking is for the building. It’s a small, small side street, and I’m thanking my lucky stars we didn’t have to park the car here. I doubt the city would ever try to plow this small area.
Snow on small table. Reminded me of this day.
See what I mean about these cars having it worse? Utterly buried.
Even if you could get your car unearthed, you’d still have to shovel out a path out to the main road. I don’t think folks are going anywhere, anytime soon.
Snowdrift on an apartment door.
A slightly more intense snowdrift.
More buried cars, parked in back.
This guy probably had it worst of all.
A picnic table, holding up a measurement of the total snowfall.
Rather than walk all the way around to the front of the building, I considered going up the back steps. I ran into two obstacles, on my way. First: snow piled high behind the gated door, making it pretty tough for me to even open the door.
Second: lots more snow in my way.
A little later, things started to pick back up again. The snow and winds returned, and it felt like it did last night at 10PM – strong winds, low visibility, and incredibly chaotic.
A view of our back porch, looking on to our neighbor’s door.