April 15, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
April 15, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Surviving the Cold Chill of Chicago

Until this point, I had never traveled outside the east coast of the U.S. except for Canada and Israel. Over Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, I finally got the chance to go further west to the cold state of Illinois. I went to Chicago for a college friend’s aufruf and wedding and the moment I walked outside the airport I was wishing I was back in the January chill of New Jersey. I know that on Thursday Jan. 11, the day I flew in, the highest temperature in Chicago was 34 degrees while back in Teaneck the lowest temperature was at 30. Despite the cold, I was very happy to be there celebrating one of my closest friend’s wedding.

For most of the weekend, I was relaxing in my friend’s house or playing indoor basketball with my hosts as the chill of Chicago was so frostbiting that I barely even wanted to leave my bed. I was just glad that my mom had screamed at me to wear my boots when I was packing. I had been hoping it was not going to snow but I was very wrong. All Shabbat, my friends and I had to walk on snow, black ice or through giant puddles of melted snow. Without my boots, my socks and shoes would have been soaked and uncomfortable the whole day.

To start our two-day bachelor party for our friend, we began with pizza and playing pool on Motzei Shabbat. To make things interesting, we made teams of two and had a little billiards tournament for about three hours. That night was extremely cold —8 degrees —and yet one of my crazy friends decided to take off his shirt and run through the light snow. It just made it more enjoyable, laughing with friends when these days everyone our age is so busy with college, jobs, dating/marriage, and some even have kids.

On Sunday nobody really did anything as it was the coldest night and day of the weekend where the lowest temperature was -9 degrees and the highest did not even go into the positives hitting -1! Why anyone would want to leave their bed when it is that cold is beyond me. I was nice and comfy staying under the covers. For the second half of the bachelor party, we took a drive to a Korean karaoke bar/restaurant. It was fun trying to figure out the controls of the TV and music but thankfully one of the guys managed to figure it out and the rest of the night was a blast. A room of about 15-20 mid twenty-year-old guys just dancing and screaming and singing for an hour-and-a-half. By the end of the night, we all had hoarse voices and were so tired but it was a great night.

It was also fun hanging with friends while we explored downtown. We went to this nice place called Emma’s which is similar to a breakfast/lunch cafe with a large menu.
I decided to try something called S’mores Waffles which had the graham crackers made straight in the waffle with chocolate and marshmallow fluff drizzled on top. If you are ever visiting Chicago, I highly recommend at least eating at Emma’s for one of your meals. After eating lunch, we decided to check out Wrigley Field. Of course it was closed because of the cold and there was no game but it was still cool to check it out with friends as some of them decided to start having a mini snowball fight. It was cold while we were walking; my ankles felt like ice that was about to break any minute.

Celebrating our friend’s wedding was a great way to end the weekend, but I could barely sing like I usually do at weddings since my voice was gone from karaoke. In fact, my voice was hoarse for a little over a week but all in all it was a fun trip spending time with my friends. I was still quite happy when I landed back in Newark because somehow the New Jersey cold felt like heat compared to the frosty wind of Chicago. I was just glad when I flew to Florida two days later for winter break, because that really helped me forget the icy frigidity of Chicago, which I will never visit again during the winter since it was colder in Chicago than the North Pole!


Tzvi Sabo lives in Bergenfield. A former Jewish Link intern and professional photographer, Tzvi most recently worked on the 2024 Jewish Link Wine Guide.

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles