Up Close And Personal

Yesterday I was walking south on Michigan Avenue from Tribune Tower so I could meet a friend at the Cultural Center. As I approached Lake Street, I glanced upward (as I often do; I’m always looking for photo opportunities!) and noticed a mural on the side of a building that I had never seen before. That’s pretty amazing since I have walked by that corner approximately twenty five bajillion times in my life.


I saw this mural, and I could tell that it was vibrant in color but couldn’t see the whole thing due to the fact that the adjacent building was blocking most of it from where I was standing on the corner.

Chicago building mural

I looked at the time and decided that I wanted to take a couple of minutes to discover a little more, so I turned right on Lake and got closer.

Chicago building mural 2

The problem was, I could see more gorgeous color and I think I made out some people in the design but I still couldn’t tell what it was about. When I walked on the same side of the street, the wide base of the adjacent building blocked my view of the mural. When I crossed the street to see what I could see, I couldn’t figure out the whole story, even when zooming in.

Chicago building mural 3

I finally concluded that in order to see what this mural is about, I would have to go into the building next door and take an elevator to one of the upper floors and walk over to a western facing window so I could get up close and personal.

Then I concluded that this mural is a lot like people in general. It’s easy to get a sense of certain parts of a person—their color, their physicality, their fashion sense—from far away but in order to truly get to know them, you usually have to invest the time in order to get a little closer and learn their story.

I don’t know about you, but for me the investment ALWAYS pays off.