Splish-splash, Michigan Avenue is a soggy mess! A fine mist fell from the gloomy afternoon sky as the temperature downtown rose above the freezing mark and everything began to melt. The 2 to 5 inches of snow that fell Thursday evening and early Friday morning blanketed the magnificent mile. “Watch for falling ice!” Warned signs posted on every corner, making it clear that dangerous conditions were at hand.
Stepping out of the EL tunnel and onto a slick sidewalk at Chicago and State, I felt a kinship with my fellow travelers. Carefully we tread, total strangers, side by side, navigating our way around icy piles of melting dirty snow. Each city block like a small fiefdom surrounded at its corners by a narrow icy gray moat. Travelers attempting to cross the moats (and the streets) grabbed on to one another trying desperately not to slip and fall into the cold murky mess.
Today looked vastly different than the usual Michigan avenue scene; we Chicagoans and visitors alike seem to be caught up in the fast pace of our busy lives, always in a hurry, barely noticing one another as we pass on the street. But today there was a real sense of comradery and community as we all braved hazardous sidewalks and streets together, helping one another, it felt good. Generally I am not a big fan of icy messy streets and dangerous falling ice; being impaled by a giant falling icicle has been one of my secret fears since moving to Chicago, it seems like a terrifying and bizarre way to go, but I am in favor of anything that brings people together and shows a kinder gentler side of this big city.
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