Living in a cold northern place like Chicago, surviving the winter is both a physical as well as a psychological ordeal. Simply going about one’s business can mean preparing for an expedition in the arctic. Bent against the wind, loaded with gear and bundled up, we trudge down the street, wait for the bus and endure the cattle-like confines of commuting. We are subjected to piles of snow, mysterious layers of ice, lakes of black slush and general winter, urban griminess. It requires a mental toughness, a stoicism, that often results in a feeling of solitude within the crowd.