Photo Briefs

Keeping warm in city oases

Students –– some of whom are returning from out-of-state vacations –– are returning to the cold. The Northeast was hit with a “bomb cyclone” and Chicago experienced 12 consecutive days with a high temperature of less than 20 degrees –– and the cold continues. The PHOENIX visited some of Chicago’s hot spots that will help students beat the chill.

The longest period of time Chicago experienced below-freezing weather lasted 43 days in the winter of 1976 to 1977, according to a story by WGN-TV’s Tom Skilling. Although the record remains the same, there are still a couple of months left before the weather warms. Here are some Chicago hot spots.
Garfield Park Conservatory

The Conservatory, located steps away from the Green Line at 300 N. Central Park Ave., claims to be the third largest public plant conservatory in the world. It would be easy to forget about the snow-and-ice-covered city while getting lost in its two acres of indoor display houses.

Outside, snow was falling, but inside the glass the temperature was milder. Palm House, the main and largest room of the conservatory is kept at an average temperature of 75 degrees, according to conservatory staff.

Carol Mages’ reason for being at the Conservatory was simple.

“It’s cold out,” the 54-year-old Downers Grove resident said.

The conservatory is open every day of the week until 5 p.m. –– and 8 p.m. on Wednesdays –– which makes it an easily accessible tropical escape available year-round.

Four letters are the only things the bomb cyclone and Bombobar have in common. The latter is a walk-up eatery that serves coffee, doughnuts and gelato. It’s most famous for the Bomboloni, holeless Italian doughnuts that adorn the hot and hotter chocolates, which are the regular and flavored hot chocolates.

Beating the cold by standing in it doesn’t seem like the best idea, but Bombobar’s outdoor seating space is covered and heated in the winter months. A cup of funfetti flavored hotter chocolate helps, too.

“This is the only thing [that made me come outside],” Alyssa Powers, 22, said about her hot chocolate. “It’s literally the only reason I’m here.”

Bombobar is located at 832 W. Randolph St. and is open every day from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Three Dots and a Dash

This downtown tiki bar is located at 435 N. Clark St. and is only accessible through the alley around the back of the building.

Walking into the underground bar of bartenders and servers in aloha shirts and skull and fruit decor certainly feels like a tropical escape.

“It’s strange, but funny, because you have all these people in thick winter coats at a tiki bar,” Jessica Wiley, 33, said.

If the interior design doesn’t inspire warmth, one of the bar’s many rum-based tropical cocktails such as the rum barrel, a strong mix of a “top secret rum blend, mystery spices and exotic fruit juices,” will.


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