Queens Man Builds Backyard Igloo, Spends Night on Ice

Most New Yorkers are winter weary and sick of the snow, but Joe Gindoff is embracing it -- he built an igloo outside his Queens apartment building and slept there Thursday night.

Working in the courtyard outside his Jackson Heights co-op, where snow still blanketed the ground, Gindoff created 100 solid snow blocks and built an igloo for himself. He spent the night there with only a sleeping bag, a blanket and a small cooking stove.

Even though last night’s temperatures dropped to 15 degrees, Gindoff weathered the cold and woke up proud of his endurance.

"I got a major sense of accomplishment. It was very fulfilling,” Gindoff told NBC New York as he warmed up Friday morning.

A few friends stopped by during the night to make sure that Gindoff was okay, but no one wanted to go inside. “One offered to bring hot chocolate, but he wouldn't open the door because it was too cold,” Gindoff said.

Although friends were supportive, Gindoff’s wife was skeptical at first. “I myself would not sleep in there,” Donna Gindoff said. “I just let him go. He would do it anyway.”

The igloo still stands, but Gindoff said he won’t be sleeping there again until the temperature creeps up a bit. “I wouldn’t sleep in there again until it warms up outside,” said Gindoff. “I would encourage other people to sleep in there though.”

The air-conditioner service manager says children from the neighborhood have been playing in the igloo, and he’s “thrilled” that the community has taken advantage of his creation.

Gindoff recently became unemployed, and hopes that his igloo creation will lead to a new job. “I want to try something different than anything I’ve done before,” Gindoff said.

The New York City area has been walloped by winter weather this year, enduring repeated snowstorms that have dumped more than 2 feet in some parts of the region.

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