The Black family trudged through knee-deep snow, their heads dipped against a ferocious wind.
Snowplows thundered by, burying parked cars in gray slop.
Sure, it seemed like a great idea on a school snow day to head to Cricket Hill at Montrose Harbor for some sledding.
“There’s a little hill across the street from us, but we thought we’d be a bit adventurous and come to the big hill,” said Brian Black, who lives with his family in Lincoln Park and whose kids go to the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.
A good clue might have been that the Black family had the hill all to themselves — at least until a few more hardy souls ventured out a little later.
At the summit, with snow swirling, Heiji Black and her daughter, Thea, climbed onto a sled. Dad gave them a hard push. The sled went maybe 10 feet and then sank. Dad had a go. Five feet.
“One and done,” Brian Black said.
The family headed down the hill to their SUV, planning to make hot chocolate back at home.
“The second you hit the snow you just sink. ... All I got was snow in my mouth,” said a disappointed Thea, 8. “Honestly, I think maybe school would be a bit better.”
At the nearby Montrose Avenue off-ramp, Marcelo Luis Reyes sat on an overturned garbage can and held out a plastic blue cup; after half an hour, it was still empty.
“Some days you make $40, some days you make 50, some days you make 60,” Reyes said. “So far, nothing. All I’m trying to do is make a 20 and then I’m out of here — ’cause this is too crazy out here.”