The urban Cityscape series had just begun to take shape and I was doing a show at the Chicago
Merchandise Mart. Early December 2003, and the weather was still pleasant enough. With a few hours to kill
between final set up and the show's kick off reception, I grabbed my camera and wandered downtown Chicago
for a few hours. Please understand, I don't know Chicago so I was just soaking it all in.
    One busy corner caught my attention. It was a cloudy day so I leaned against a light pole to steady myself
and started clicking away. A month later I had prepared two scenes from that corner, one featured on my home
page. That fall I was doing a show in Buffalo Grove, a Chicago suburb, when a young man walked up and told
me he had gone to school with Cal's daughter. I didn't connect until he pointed to the picture with Cal's Liquors
    Long story short, he called her up, she told her father and before the weekend was over I met quite a number
of the clan. One of Cal's nephews even purchased a print for their 50th anniversay, or so he said. I was
somewhat uncertain about telling Cal the image was part of a series called "Ephemeral/Edifice" illustrating
humanity's fleeting nature. In many cases, the edifice in my images also disappears a relatively short time after I
capture them. Cal then told me there was family strife and he didn't know how much longer they would have the
store. I don't know the present fate of Cal's but the image has been quite popular.
    What pleased me most about meeting Cal was him telling me that he couldn't count the number of
photographers and cinematographers who had asked to set up on the roof to capture the El as it rattled by. This
was the first time someone had made his business the focus of a scene. As I've toured this image around the
country, it never fails someone stops short, points and says "I used to walk by Cal's every day on my way to
work!" (Amusingly, they seldom admit to going in, though the connected sandwich shop is another matter.)
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