Notes From North Sheridan

Chicago Should Invest in a Weather Bubble

weather bubble.jpg

Sort of like this but big enough to cover Chicago. Source:

Wednesday, March 31, I cautiously walked out of my dorm in a sundress, light overshirt, sandals, and sunglasses.  I had seen the forecast was 77° and sunny, but with the bipolar nature of Chicago's weather, I knew I could step outside into any condition.

I pushed open the doors with difficulty.  'Great,' I thought.  'The wind ruins another perfect day.'  But as the door swung open and I braced myself against the wrath of the biting Chicago wind, I found myself in a state I hadn't experienced in months: warmth.

The sun shone strong and hot, finally free of the clouds that have plagued the tedious winter months, and was supported by an unfaltering sky the color of Berry Blue flavored jelly beans.  The wind, usually the foil to any attempts the sun makes to bring hope into my life, seemed innocent and playful-- it is the difference between playing with a Golden Labrador puppy and a wet, rabid Chinese Hairless.  It rubbed against my bare legs, tousled my hair into that beachy look that is impossible to achieve, and left me with a laughing smile on my face.

The warmth was infectious.  Naturally, since the day was perfect, my life was coincidentally wonderful as well.  Two of my classes were canceled, one allowing me to sleep late and one allowing me to get lunch and walk around campus.  I spent an hour outside and got that familiar toasted feeling from being in the sun too long.  Yes, skin cancer is terrible, but a little Vitamin D is all my skin craved after five long months of clouds and indoors.

Everywhere I went people were blissfully happy and active.  People perched on the long walk looking over Lake Michigan, picnicked on the hill by the Crowne Center, played frisbee on Mertz field and had classes on the quad.  People were walking, biking, running, rollerblading,playing every sport imaginable.  People were studying, collaborating, laughing.  It was as though every brochure Loyola made was coming to life.

I even saw two girls bring their rabbit to the quad to study with them.  If that isn't pure happiness, I don't know what is.

Beautiful weather tends to make people happier, more active, and more productive.  I witnessed that firsthand at Loyola, and I assume the rest of the city was this way as well.  I had more than one friend remark, "If Chicago's weather was always this beautiful, this would be the perfect city to live in."

So Chicago, listen up.  You have five affluent universities and a city full of weather motivated people behind you.  What can we do to make everyone happier?

I believe I have the perfect solution: a giant weather bubble.  It would act as a sort of retractable roof, beginning at the city limits and into part of Lake Michigan (we want to be able to enjoy the beach of course), keeping the temperature at a balmy 75 degrees and sunny while covering the entirety of Chicago.  There would be small doors around the perimeter so that trains, cars, planes, and buses can still get in and out but otherwise it would keep our wonderful city shielded from the nasty winter that kills happiness for five months every year.

However, I'm not saying this would be a permanent winter structure.  No, I think Chicagoans take a certain amount of pride in their ability to withstand inhuman temperatures for extensive periods of time, and besides there would be no appreciation for the weather if we didn't have to go through at least a little hardship to get it first.  I would propose it only be put up when the general feeling in the city is woeful-- perhaps after a particularly brutal streak of Chicago teams losing in several different sports, after a political scandal, or after a particularly nasty string of freezing days.  So we're probably talking about once every week.

However, I realize that this endeavor would be extensive, expensive, and basically impossible unless we suddenly realize we are the stars in a Disney Channel Original movie (where all dreams come true).  But I think it should still be considered for several reasons:

1.  Tourist Attraction:  We missed out on the 2016 Olympics, but what better way to draw people to your city than controlling the weather?  Yeah Rio, do you have a giant bubble surrounding your city?!  What?  Oh your city already has perfect weather year round?  Oh...well.... you don't have the Bean.  Suck it.

2. Universities would love it:  Imagine the marketing that Loyola, DePaul, Northwestern, UIC, and UChicago could do with a weather bubble.  I see Chicago universities becoming the most selective in the country while simultaneously becoming athletic power houses.  Win for everyone.  Especially college students (a.k.a. me).

3. Anti- Terrorism:  Would the Bubble also be bullet/grenade/fire/nuclear bomb- proof?  You betcha!  We'll be sipping lemonade on the roof of the Drake and laughing as every terrorist in the world is foiled by our clever bubble of perfect weather and protection.  I anticipate most cities following suit.

But perhaps this is just weather-induced productive thinking.  Ask me again next week when its 40 degrees and the rabid Chinese Hairless wind is biting at me again.  I'm guessing my answer won't be so bubbly.

Do you love the beautiful Chicago weather we have been experiencing recently?  Do you agree a giant weather bubble is the best solution for Chicago's weather woes?  Do you own a Chinese Hairless and are offended by my wind/dog metaphor?  Let me know.  Comment below!



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