BURRRR!! Road story alert!! What is your best guess as to how cold this day was in Chicago...?
Blazay gained mural experience as a commercial sign painting Walldog. As Walldog's we are always up for the challenges presented in order to paint murals. this particular job had a very hard deadline; the client was unwilling to budge the post date despite the extreme cold which was setting into Chicago.
When the team leader reached out to me and mentioned the job and what to expect I jumped at the opportunity! Polar Vortex in the Midwest... For Sure! Let's go! It took two days to prepare for the trip. The moment we landed in Chicago it would be minus 15 and was
only getting colder. I had worked in minus 20 in the past, I knew what to expect. Frozen boogers, frozen toes, numb fingers, runny nose. I did not expect eyelash-cicles, frost nip, and muscle cramping. We got specific orders to not go to work if we thought the weather would be too severe. Despite the warnings we decided to go through with the production. The news was warning if anyone was outside for longer than 15 minutes they would be exposed to frost bite. We spent 6 hours hanging a scaffold and whiting out a wall in minus 26 degree weather with windchill
down to minus 60.
We would periodically pop into a local coffee shop just to thaw. A photographer from the Wall Street Journal was brave enough to be out and document workers outside despite the weather conditions. She was passing by, found us in action and got right to taking pictures.
While on the scaffold I kept dragging this wooden plank to stand on, in order to save my toes from standing on cold steel through the day. As we applied the paint, it was so cold it would not set up; basically the paint was dripping down the wall like crazy and no matter how hard we tried to blend it so it would not stop running... It kept dripping! The entire sky background looked like the the melting clock Dali painting.
Best part of the job was after each day of working out in the cold we would get cornbread and gumbo from one of my favorite food spots, Wishbone Chicago. At the end of the job, I took a seat under an awning and took a nap... Next thing I knew a huge piece of ice had fallen from the roof of the building and just narrowly missed knocking me out!
Moral of the story is if there is a wall to be painted in the cold, count me in! Once all was said and done and we made it back to the east coast it was 60 degrees in NY, a full 100 degree temperature difference in a matter of one week. Although all ten of my toes got frost nip by the end of the job, it is safe to say toe warmers do not work in sub arctic temperatures and more importantly the experience was nothing short of unique... Thanks Mother Nature!