Feeling the breeze
Student refuses to wear pants during Buffalo winter
The Buffalo winter is here, and students are shuffling through the slush and zipping parka coats up to their noses to stay warm.
But Anna Seidl, a sophomore theater performance and psychology major, said she never wears a coat outside during the winter.
She doesn’t wear pants either.
Seidl considers any day above zero degrees to be “shorts weather.”
“I love the cold,” Seidl said. “I’m obsessed with the cold. I like to think it’s because I’m Russian and my whole family likes the cold, but most people tell me it’s because I’m crazy.”
Seidl said she pushes the limit of what she can bear every year. She’s more than comfortable on a 30-degree day in nothing but a T-shirt, shorts, boots and knit hat. Seidl only wore pants once this winter on a day when there was a negative 30-degree wind chill in Buffalo.
“Even then I didn’t wear a coat,” Seidl said.
“As long as my fingers, my toes and my ears are covered, then I’m warm.”
Saoudatou Barry, a sophomore pharmacy major, said she has seen Seidl walking outside on campus multiple times.
“I saw her and I thought she might have some kind of condition or you never know what the case is … Maybe she doesn’t have any pants?”
Seidl said she grew up in the Adirondack Mountains, where winter temperatures consistently run through the negatives. She recalls refusing to wear a coat since seventh grade.
“I would bring my coat to school just so no one would call the cops on my parents for child abuse, but I wouldn’t wear it,” Seidl said.
That didn’t stop someone from calling the cops on her during her freshman year of college, according to Seidl.
Seidl recalls wearing a sweatshirt and shorts, while going for an early morning walk on the bike path near the Ellicott complex. A UPD car pulled up to her and began asking her questions because they received a report about a woman in shorts, according to Seidl.
“I was wearing a sweatshirt and shorts, and I thought ‘Wait a minute, the cop thinks I’m a prostitute,’” Seidl said.
But Seidl is no stranger to turning heads at this point. She said she often appears on strangers’ Snapchat stories.
“It’s so funny when a friend will show me that I am on someone’s snap story, who I don’t even know,” Seidl said.
Seidl said that not wearing pants is the best conversation starter. She has made friends with people who approach her to ask why she wears shorts in the winter, according to Seidl. She also appreciates the humor it brings into her everyday life.
Anthony Defeo, a senior film studies major, is performing alongside Seidl in the theater department's upcoming production of “Julius Caesar.” Defeo met Seidl during auditions last semester.
“Once the temperatures dropped, I began to notice she was impervious to sub-zero temperatures,” Defeo said.
But Defeo thinks Seidl’s optimism about winter is admirable.
“[Seidl] walks or rides her bike everywhere even in the winter, which has no carbon footprint,” said Defeo. “I mean, if you can endure that for the sake of the planet, by all means.”
Jaclyn Grace, MSN, a registered nurse at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, said she has seen the adverse effects of freezing temperatures on people in the Buffalo community throughout her career. Frostbite can expedite quickly on the skin, but the fact that Seidl still wears hats during winter is probably the main reason she stays warm, according to Grace.
“If she’s wearing clothes where it matters — gloves, shoes and hats — then she can stay pretty warm,” Grace said. “Your digits, toes, nose and cheeks are where [frostbite] occurs first. It’s harder to get it on your legs.”
While Buffalo hardly falls short when it comes to serving snow and wind chills, Seidl said she isn’t completely satisfied with the winters here and dreams of living in Siberia.
“It’s always a joke where I say, for my honeymoon, I'm going to go to Siberia, where they send prisoners to the wastelands. But that would be like my paradise.”