The easiest way to meet someone in Chicago is to offer to take their picture. It’s the oldest trick in the book.
That’s what I did recently on a stifling summer afternoon with the temperature and humidity both creeping into the 90s. Marge Densley and her two children, Emily and Elliot, were doing a little sightseeing and had just arrived at Millennium Park after visiting Navy Pier. They needed the requisite group shot in front of Cloud Gate with the Chicago Cultural Mile skyline in the background but they were not able to coax any bystanders into helping them snap the photo. I stepped forward and offered my assistance.
Residents of Charlotte, N.C., the Densleys were revisiting some of their favorite local attractions — places Marge used to take the kids when they were much younger and when the family was still living in Beverly on the city’s far South Side. The outing was kind of a “let’s-see-if-anything-has-changed-since-the-last-time-we-were-here” tour of famous Chicago attractions.
Asked what she liked best about Anish Kappor’s sculpture, Emily was terse. “It’s shiny,” she muttered.
Perhaps the most economical — but accurate — description of the sculpture in history. Somewhere in the vast beyond, Mies van der Rohe — he of the “less is more” school of architectural thought — is nodding with great approval.