I lived in Chicago for a decade, and my encyclopedic knowledge of that city unexpectedly came in handy this morning when I visited the Paris Auto Show's website. The very first thing you see on the page is a futuristic blob of chrome — vaguely car-like, I suppose, if you really squint your eyes — with the Eiffel Tower reflecting along one side. How very Parisian!
But here's the thing: I know this chrome blob well. It's Cloud Gate — better known to Chicagoans as "The Bean" — a sculpture installed as a part of Chicago's beautiful Millennium Park a number of years ago. And what's weird is that the site's creators made practically zero effort to replace Chicago with Paris, as if simply photoshopping the iconic Eiffel Tower into Chicago's skyline is enough to rebrand the entire city.
Here, I've gone ahead and labeled some Chicago landmarks:
I have stood underneath The Bean, I have taken photos from this exact vantage point. Everyone who has ever lived in or visited Chicago has.
Mondial de l'Automobile, on behalf of my former city, we appreciate your love for our world-class park and its attractions. But surely there's something picturesque in your own town that you can use instead, right?