Definition: Cabin fever
- A feeling of restlessness that occurs to either individuals or a group when stuck in one area for an extended period of time, often with nothing to do.
- Irritability or anger stemming from being indoors for too long a period of time.
- A 2002 movie directed by Eli Roth that redefined the word “pancakes.”
Only one month into 2014, Chicagoans have already endured below freezing temperatures and record breaking snowfall that left many stranded in their homes. Although “cabin fever” hit many neighbors, some made the best of their unexpected free time.
Staying Home on a Snow Day
Kelly Deir was able to take some time to relax. “I cooked and watched Despicable Me 2,” she says.
The Polar Vortex also gave her an opportunity to try her hand at a completely new hobby.
“I sat at my sewing machine and made a dog jacket,” she says. “It was my first time at a sewing machine, and it turned out pretty good.”
Many residents say they stayed in during the biting cold January days.
“Netflix. That’s what I did,” says four-year resident, Sheila Kane, with a laugh.
Kane wasn’t the only resident who used the time inside to catch up on television.
“We are also catching up on episodes of Homeland that we missed,” says resident Brooke Dinda. “I wish we could say that we did really interesting things, but honestly, chasing after a one year old does not leave us much time for anything else.”
Braving the Winter cold
Some residents were not discouraged by the cold and snow and continue on with their daily activities. Twenty-eight-year-old Jeremy Cielocha, a lifelong resident of Logan Square, says he actually enjoys the weather.
“I like walking around the city in the winter, people watching the tourists. I really enjoy being out in the brisk air,” he says.
During the peak of the Polar Vortex, he continued with his volunteer work for politician Will Guzzardi, who is running for state representative for Logan Square’s 39th district, for despite having to bear the cold on public transportation.
When the weather is less extreme, Kane says she takes advantage of the season opera tickets she purchases every year to force herself out of the house.
“It is my winter treat, to help me get through [the season],” she says.
Colleen Harvey also tries to keep active during the cold spells.
“In order to keep my blues away, I like to make sure I get in at least three hot yoga classes per week. Not only does the heat feel absolutely amazing, but it helps keep my spirits high,” Harvey says. “There are so many awesome places, finding a class that fits your schedule is as easy as pie.”
Indulging in Comfort Foods
“Speaking of pie,” Harvey says, “Bang Bang Pie Shop (@bangbangpie, 2051 N. California Ave.) is a great way to keep your belly satisfied during these dark winter morning. I am drooling just thinking about it.”
Whirlaway Lounge (3224 W. Fullerton Ave.) is another spot that Harvey says she will brave the cold to visit. “Board games, no frills drinking and the best bartender/owner around, Maria,” she says.
In his free time, Cielocha says he keeps himself amused by catching up with his reading and enjoying the neighborhood’s comfort foods. “I am into savory eats, mostly. Anything hearty, like a good chili or barbeque,” he says. “I love the atmosphere at Brand BBQ.”
In December, LoganSquarist hosted a neighborhood meet-up at the barbeque joint. (@BrandBBQ, 2824 W. Armitage Ave.)
“[My husband] Jared has been a recent fan of the new bar in Logan, The Radler (@DasRadler, 2375 N. Milwaukee Ave.). Drinking liters of beer have been a great way to pass the time for him,” Dinda says.
Join Team LoganSquarist to Beat the Cold
Logan Square residents looking to keep active during the winter but are still not sure how to do so can join the LoganSquarist staff for the 35th Annual Shamrock Shuffle 8k. Readers can show their neighborhood pride by joining the official Team LoganSquarist.
For more information about the event, contact a member of the Events staff. Team LoganSquarist will be running through the neighborhood through the season to prepare for the Shamrock Shuffle.
If physical fitness isn’t your think, keep an eye out for upcoming Neighbor Meetups to get out of the house as well.
A Light at the End of the Tunnel
“If you are from Chicago, you know what keeps us here,” Harvey says. “Chicago summers: The music festivals, the patio drinking, the lake. It is all so good But in order to have this amazing time, you must first survive the dreaded Chicago winter.”