Fall arrived to Chicago, and just as quickly left. Chicago has become notorious in the past few years for rather short autumns. We have random spells of heat very late into the year (think 80F in October), and then suddenly: winter. If someone from Chicago tells you “winter here is 6 months”, don’t scoff or laugh; they’re not exaggerating. Mid November now, the high today will be 36F and temperatures like this could take us into April. The winds will make walking painful, and the frost bites at your legs and nose. Here, people buy long puffy coats and shearling-lined snow boots.
One ounce of hope, however: Chicago is beautiful in December. Regardless of whether you celebrate the holidays, the lights wrapped around trees and the ornate decorations in department stores makes for a warm space. The Christkindlmarket can feel overcrowded and even claustrophobic when hoards of people are there. But the warm chocolate and international crafts transport you to another century and country.