Chicago tour showcases coldest areas in the city

Steve Miller

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Arctic temperatures are blasting into Chicago with this February on pace to be tied for the coldest in history.
And as if it couldn't get any colder, those who are brave enough can actually experience some of the coldest spots in the city.

Believe it or not, people actually pay to walk around Chicago in the dead of winter to see if they can handle the numbing temperatures.

“I feel like today, this is maybe the coldest spot in Chicago. The wind is coming from all directions, we are basically standing in the middle of the lake,” said Margaret Hicks.

Standing on a pier off of Monroe Street and Lake Shore Drive, it's easy to see that Lake Michigan is now one giant sheet of ice.

“It gets as low as about 26 degrees, and here's my little factoid: the titanic water was 28 degrees,” Hicks said.

Fall in that water and you will have 15 minutes before you become delirious, and then unconscious. After 30 minutes or more, you could die.

“We can't do any touring in the boats, but that's okay, it's beautiful to see,” said Jean Baptiste.

Believe it or not, it's a Chicago tour stop. The heavy weather winter tour is not for the faint of heart, or the thinly dressed.

“You put on the long underwear and you put the socks over the long underwear, and then you put the jeans over the socks over the long underwear, and then you put on the boots and seal that in,” Hicks added.

Covering every inch of skin is a must when navigating in between the skyscrapers in downtown Chicago, where these steel and concrete canyons turn into wind tunnels.

At a windchill of negative 20 degrees or lower, frostbite can occur in minutes.

“We came with our European coats and maybe it was a little light for here, but it's okay,” Baptiste said.

At Maggie Daley Park where steel meets snow, the stark views will take your breath away.

“In the winter without the trees, you can see right to the bean from here,” Hicks said.

Of the four seasons, winter gets the most attention.

“If you love Chicago, you've got to love it in the winter,” Hicks added.

The good news is while February may end up tying as the coldest February in history, besides the blizzard, there's been hardly any snow.
 
Nov 18, 2006
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I sure hope that article was satire. If they were serious, they would head out west about an hour to get away from the urban heat island. The city proper is often 10-15 degrees warmer on those brutally cold northern IL nights.