No matter how early I woke up, Kyle was always awake and ready to go before me. He scooted out of the hotel around 8 a.m. to explore Chicago on his own. I was going to spend some of the day with my friend Chris, who would take me all over the city on a photograph safari, but before I could leave, I had to get my clothes out of the dryer, which meant I didn’t get out of the hotel until 10:30 a.m.
In 2001, Chicago was riding high on a public art project where they had placed cows all over the city. When that project was finished, the new art installation involved chairs. I thought they were more clever and interesting than the cows. They were certainly more useful—people were sitting in them all over the city, and thematically they all said something poignant about American culture. It made me aware, at the time, of how cities can connect to its citizens by beautifying common spaces, and that Chicago actually invested in making the city interesting and livable. My own home-city, Philadelphia, can’t even afford to run it’s schools, so public art isn’t even a consideration.
I ate at Ed Debevic’s and then spent the entire day, all the way until after the sun set, photographing landmarks and the architecture of Chicago, which to this day is still my favorite city in the entire country.