Snowbound Bostonians jump out windows, scale snow mountains
BOSTON (AP) Thrill-seekers jumping out windows into snowbanks and posting videos of their feats online. Snowmobilers racing through normally busy Boston streets with snowboarders in tow. And college students skiing and sledding down a colossal snow pile dubbed "Mount MIT."
New England's winter blast is serious business, but there's been no shortage of horseplay.
"I've been in the house an awful lot and I've been getting stir-crazy, so I don't blame people for doing stupid stuff," said John Goodman, a Cambridge resident marveling at "Mount MIT" on Wednesday. "Everything has become an obstacle. So rather than let it continue to be an obstacle, let it become something entertaining."
Police in Boston a city with a heavy concentration of college students said they have not had to deal with any reports of snow-related mischief, but department spokesman Michael McCarthy urged people not to do foolish things.
"Common sense would hopefully dictate a lot of what people are doing out there," he said. "Obviously if you are sledding down mountains of snow into a lane of traffic, that's not the best thing to be doing."
A look at some of the ways Boston-area residents are making the most of the surreal winter landscape created by an unprecedented 8 feet of snow over the past three weeks:
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has been appealing to residents to stop jumping out windows into the snow, which is piled 10 feet high or more in places.
"It's a foolish thing to do, and you could kill yourself," Walsh said this week.
SNOWBOARDS AND SNOWMOBILES
Snowmobilers were spotted near the Boston University campus during the last weekend's storm, which dumped more than a foot of new powder. At least one snowmobiler in a video posted online had a snowboarder in tow.
Boston police reminded the public that snowmobiles and other off-road vehicles are prohibited on city streets.
THE ALPS OF MIT
Tucked between dormitory buildings near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus is a towering pile of snow, perhaps three stories high, dubbed "The Alps of MIT" or "Mount Cambridge."
Located in a parking lot used as a dumping ground for snow, the mountain has quickly become a popular spot for skiing, sledding and other winter pastimes. The university has put up a chain-link fence and posted "No Trespassing" signs, but that hasn't discouraged some visitors.
On Wednesday, gawkers took selfies at the base of the mountain, while three MIT students in mountaineering gear scaled the snowy peaks, giggling all the way up.
Boston residents Christopher Haynes and Kristy Nardone carved a cozy little bar out of the 9-foot mound of snow in front of their house.
The Texas natives, who posted pictures of the bar on Facebook, say they held a gathering with neighbors over the weekend, serving up Moscow Mules of vodka, ginger beer and lime juice. With the snow not melting anytime soon, Haynes hopes to add seating.
"We've been shoveling and shoveling, so it was nice to at least have some fun with it," he said. "To make something creative, instead of just dealing with ice dams and huge icicles and the other annoying stuff that comes with all this snow."
FOR RENT: IGLOO
On the website AirBnb, a few enterprising Boston-area residents have been offering up cool lodgings for rent: backyard igloos.
Conrad Williams, of Stoneham, says he originally built the 7-by-4-foot snow cave for his three young children to play in. Now he's advertising a $10-a-night stay in the "snow fort/igloo," which comes with a ventilation chimney, candlelight and wireless Internet access.
"I'm thinking about putting a bed pad in there, like an inflatable type for camping," Williams said. Sleeping bags are not included.
The proliferation of Yeti sightings is one of more harmless antics the winter storms have brought to the Boston-area.
Furry-costumed Abominable Snowmen have been spotted casually walking through snowbound streets, trying to hail cabs and working the beer taps at bars. One of the Yetis has become a Twitter sensation: @BostonYeti2015 has more than 8,000 followers.
"Reading that I've brought smiles to people's faces and that it brought them some levity in this storm has really made my day," the elusive creature said in a message exchange with The Associated Press. "Goal achieved."