"Snow Chairs" Presentation Saturday 2/11
"Project Snow Chairs" will be hosted by the Rogers Park / West Ridge Historical Society on Saturday morning (2/11) at 10:30. I will be presenting my historical/cultural study of the dibs system from last winter followed by Q & A / general discussion. For more information check out: http://www.rpwrhs.org/. The RPWR Historical Society is located the intersection of Morse and Greenview (1447 W. Morse) just 1 block West of the Morse Redline stop.
Come on out, it should be a good time, even if there is no snow on the ground or chairs in the street.
Chicago has created a snow removal website to track plows, claim sidewalks to clear, find out if your car has been towed and the like. There is no digital dibs tracking or claiming… yet. All in all, the site looks fairly sophisticated, but there is no way to tell if it works or makes any difference until there is a snow storm.
Winter parking rules go into affect tomorrow. Apparently you can not park on a whopping 102 miles of road in Chicago between 3 AM and 7AM, to allow the city to plow the major thoroughfares. According to the article, 343 cars were towed in the first two days of the ban last year for a combined total of $20,580 dollars in fines alone (not including the towing costs - which would be at least double that). The best part is that there was no snow on the ground! Lord knows once the snow arrives, the city of Chicago is not going to do a thing about it and the reign of snow chairs will commence.
I was also amazed to read that Chicago has 308 snowplows, with an additional 200 garbage trucks that can transform into snow plows (see the latest Transformers movie for more details on that). It seems like they should be able to do a bit more damage to the snow removal problem. However, the city does have some 34,000 miles of local streets within it’s limits, not to mention expressways.
My former-temporary-roommate/future-dog-sitter found this website. It has some great photos or snowchairs notes. The indignation oozing from the notes is extraordinary. The Bostonian note is indeed, the classiest. Enjoy!
New Orleans - Mardi Gras 2011. My cousin in New Orleans e-mailed pictures of “Mardi Gras Chairs.” These dibs (mostly lawn chairs, wood, cones and garbage cans) are fending off tourists and deviant parking during the Fat Tuesday festivities. I do not know if it is just a single day practice or if people begin declaring “dibs” days in advance of the holiday.
Just like in Chicago, the chairs seem to be parasitic. If one person claims a spot, everyone else on the block does so as well.
Yesterday, Chicago’s Streets and Sanitation Department declared the end of Dibs, citing the warm weather. At the end of this week they will begin tossing your lawn furniture, cinder blocks, extra dining room sets, make-shift fortifications, and various other storage goods, into the dumpster. The dibs season is over. The city has brought an official end to the unofficial practice. Does policy affecting dibs, make it as good as law?
National Weather Service and Chicago Meterologists Fight Over Blizzard ‘11 ranking (and memory)
The National Weather Service (NWS) briefly downgraded the Groundhogs Day Blizzard from the 3rd-worst to the 4th-worst in Chicago History. The NWS subtracted 0.2” from the 2011 total and also updated snowfall from the 1979, adding almost 2” to that blizzard. Alert Chicago news meteorologists sprung into action, refusing to let such an egregious insult stand and rallied in a teleconference with the NWS to defend the blizzard of 2011’s honor. Chicago meteorologists successfully kept 2011 as the third worst blizzard, magically adding an inch of snowfall to the storm. The highlight of the cited article has to be that news meteorologists claimed a change to the ranking would open a “Pandora’s Box” of public doubt in their abilities. Beyond indicating meteorologists deluded self-perception and NWS ownership of a time machine, what does all of this mean? Why does it matter?
Snow Chairs and the Curbside Frontier
The city’s streets belong to its people. Streets are a public space maintained for public use by the municipality. The city paves the streets, fixes the streets, sweeps the streets (twice a week on Morse), provides traffic signs and lights, and tries to keep the streets safe. These things happen because the city’s citizens want it to happen. Well-maintained streets make everyone’s life easier.