Sunday, September 17, 2017
Annals of the physical world
As a connoisseur of ballyhoo, I had to admire this advertising display atop an "L" station entrance on Chicago Avenue. As if it weren't huge and garish enough, the pieces of maki gently spin.
And I don't mean "garish" in a bad way. You have to be impressed by the size of the thing, its colorful confidence. Especially,, in our computer age, that it is so very real, so completely non-virtual, and a sign that the tangible world has not yet given up its place. It's almost a nod to history, to all those enormous Times Square billboards puffing smoke and presenting gigantic Coke bottles and such. This massive maki must have cost a fortune. But then again, Grubhub has got the dough. Founded in 2004 in Chicago, the business, which allows customers to order food at home from restaurants, even those that don't deliver, is worth over a billion dollars.
I think I like the concept as much as the execution. The idea that someone, at some meeting, probably in Chicago, leaned forward and said, "We're going to put an enormous quintet of sushi roll pieces and a pair of vast chopsticks atop a subway station entrance. People will really sit up and notice that!" And everyone in the room murmured assent. "Yes! Yes! That's it! Let's do it!" And they did, create the thing, and people did notice it, or at least I noticed. Good work.