CENTER CITY (WTXF) - At the wind-whipped Blue Cross River Rink only the hearty were out on this night. Or the fool-hearty. We found Selah Lynch lacing up her skates.
"We thought the cold might scare some people away and we'd get some fresh ice."
"The smart people!"
"Right! Ha ha ha, it depends on your definition!"
Meg Nilan was here with her two daughters-- part of an annual girls night out, bonding in the brutal cold.
"Do you mind this weather?"
"No it's winter. Winter is supposed to be cold. It's not snowing or raining. It's blustery and it's nice."
"It's not too bad. I mean you get used to it."
"You can get used to getting kicked in the teeth!"
"Yeah I guess so!"
"Do you like being out here in this kind of weather?"
Jessica Murray, a skater, said, "No. We do this for my mom and my sister. It's cold. But I enjoy it!"
Of course for everyone who is out in the elements by choice there are others who face the frigid weather by circumstance.
"I’ve been out here for about a month and a half."
We met Jose in the convention center pass through at 12th and Arch -- a homeless hang out because these walls cut the winter wind.
Jose says he was on his way from Nebraska back home to New York City when he was jumped and robbed at the Greyhound bus station. Now he stays on the street till a nearby shelter opens late at night. He'll be forced out before dawn and then he'll head to 10th and Vine.
"We have vans that come pick us up."
"Get some daywork?"
"Like to be able to make a few dollars."
Life out here is rough- dangerous- and not just because of the cold.
"Do you feel safe out here?"
"Not really. Nobody does. Nobody does."
Jose understands why the homeless are unwelcome here. He sees the trash and hears the comments made to women passing by. As we as we speak a man steps up to a nearby wall and urinates on it.
"That's what pisses me off."
"Pardon the expression."
Come morning, Jose will look for work. Until then it's the cold of the street and the filth of the shelter the danger of it all.
"You got to do what you got to do. Really do."