Smart Girls Who Do Stupid Things

Sometimes…

Inclement Weather

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Blink and you missed it.

Thanks to Brie and KB for this one. Students are not pleased. Especially because school is not closed, despite the fact that all other Chicago schools seem to be.

Despite the weather, students are apparently planning on snowball fights instead of class. Stick it to the man!
And check out some archival photos of past snows. It’s happened before, but it was back in the day, so it’s in black and white and more interesting.

And in case you’re really lonely on this particular evening and snow turns you on, look no further than the following:

[reddit chicago]

Update: A Sexy Firefighter Was Injured

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Let’s hope he’s alright. Alicia’s apparently not worried. Local news gets the best interviews.

Sucks to be this building.

UPDATE: The Chicago Maroon has indeed weighed in, complete with some excellent student quotes, as per usual:
“It was a spectacular blaze,” said third-year Kyle Shymanik, who saw the fire from his fraternity, Alpha Delta Phi, a few buildings south of MathStat.
“It was brutal,” Gwen Webb said of the fire.
“I don’t want this building to burn down,” Armstrong joked. “Burn down Pierce or something.”

And Avi Schwab has some sick photos of the fire, if you’re really a pyromaniac like I apparently am.

BREAKING NEWS: The Roof Is On Fire

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The Math/Stat building on the University of Chicago campus (on University, between 57th and 58th on the east side) is on serious fire. Here’s hoping that a) everyone is ok and b) the very important Center for Gender Studies next door does not burn down either.

Though none of the awesome IT services webcams caught it, there are apparently about nine fire trucks, and so much smoke and water that people are definitely coughing. From my official point of view, they’ve been doing construction on this building for at least a year, it’s pretty old, and it’s been very windy today (though this has not been the worst storm in 70 years), all of which makes for a pretty poor combo. Check out videos here:
IMG_0128 (Mostly Smoke)
and here: IMG_0129(Actual flames)
of LIVE footage of the flames (from a safe distance of course). Note the following dialogue in the second video:

Alicia: “Woooof…Did I just say woof?”
Other Dude: You did just say woof.

For those feeling humorous:

We’ll have more updates when the all-informative Chicago Maroon gets its act together.

Additional reporting by Alex and Alicia

Annie And The Fulton Fish Market I Knew

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Annie, as I never knew her


Annie, a Fulton Fish Market legend, has died. She had a far more interesting and complex life than I had ever known; my last memory of anything relating to her was when Nandria, our crazy neighbor from down the street, dressed up in a startlingly accurate costume of her for Halloween when I was probably no more than 8. I always thought she was just a famous homeless person, famous in the way that a character can be in a small neighborhood in New York. But I was too young to know better, and Dan Barry’s article is a beautiful reminder of everything that I remember about being a child in my neighborhood, with everything I didn’t know. Since I don’t have enough memories of her to share, below is the essay I wrote to get into UChicago, which I managed to dig up from my old Yahoo! account (a scary adventure, to say the least). I have not edited it, both for entertainment value and posterity’s sake, and perhaps to give us all some appreciation of what a few years of college can add (or not?) to an individual. There are many more memories about living in my neighborhood that are probably interesting enough for me to write down and share, and I realize I better do it sooner, rather than later. It seems likely I won’t remember them until someone reminds me again.

Kate Dries
AP Lit, Pd. 3
9/22/05
College Essay

Like all newborns, I was brought home from the hospital. But the sight that greeted me was not one of quiet streets and hushed hallways, ready to receive an infant child. It was dirty, fish-filled streets, and yelling men, beeping forklifts and early morning salt air. Because my home was not the average New York City apartment, on an average New York City street. My home was the only residental loft building in the middle of the Fulton Fish Market in downtown Manhattan.

Messing Fish Company occupied the first two floors of my building. And on that first day home, I met Harry, the kindest fish monger there. He was probably about sixty years old, a small, white-haired man with a booming voice and wide grin. As the story goes, he was estactic when my parents brought me home, and when I was older, he would give me a high-five every day on my way to school.

The thing about the fish market is that it is off the schedule that the city operates on. It opens late in the evening and ends late in the morning. So all night, while most of the city-that-never-sleeps is sleeping, these two blocks are filled with men buying and selling fish. The only really quiet time is the weekends, when the market is closed. But Sunday night, the big tractor-trailers from around the country start arriving, and it begins again.

There are so many things that I have lived with that I consider normal, that an average person in New York would find weird or unsettling. While other girls skipped along Park Ave off the bus after school, I’ve stepped over and around fish guts on the street, watching seagulls treat them as a delicacy. I’ve seen water wash through my front door because the East River had flooded, making it impossible for me to go to school, but the men in their high black boots just laughed at the water. I’ve seen burning scraps of wood shoved in old trash cans for warmth, the flames rising higher and higher in the cold morning air. I’ve dodged still-live crabs scuttling on the sidewalk.

Yet none of this ever occurred to me as being unusual. I couldn’t sleep when visiting friends upstate because, as my sister said, “The quiet is too loud.” I got used to asking men to please push aside tunas as large as me away from my front door so I could walk past. I went down to let my friends in because we didn’t have a buzzer, if my friends could even find the place. Supposedly, “look for a green door” is not a good enough description of the building you live in. But none of this bothered me, because once I stepped inside my loft, it was cozy and filled with light and the familar glow of my father’s paintings. And walking to and from my house was like an adventure. I got to step out into a part of a past New York that is missing from a lot of the city that my friends live in, and be a part of something that has been there for a long time, a life that other people lived.

My parents began to grumble about the constant light and noise outside our window every weeknight. I noticed that as I got older, the fish mongers got younger, and friendlier in a different way. Harry retired and then passed away. The storefront in our building emptied out. We got a new landlord, who asked my mom not to keep her bike in the entryway and installed a new-and-improved buzzer system. And for the past several years now, the fish market has been planning to move, up to Hunts Point in Queens. And yes, part of me will be glad to see it go. I’ve grown older, and quiet isn’t so loud anymore. I don’t like ruining new pants in dirty, sewage filled water.

But now, new people are going to move into the newly renovated loft spaces readily available on all sides of me. It’ll smell like sheetrock, not tuna. I recently saw a picture of Hunts Point in the newspaper. It’s indoors, and very clean. I can only hope that the new Fish Market lives up to the hustle and bustle its predecessor introduced to me. Its just too bad no one will get to live in the middle of it.

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