Thursday, March 12, 2009

What the hell is Willis Tower?

Well, that would be the new name of the Sears Tower.

Are you kidding me?! They are renaming one of the most identifiable buildings in the world and THE icon of Chicago? When I think of the Sears Tower, it doesn't even occur to me that it was once named after Sears department store. It's like Wrigley Field—the name just fits. And for most Chicagoans, I doubt they think about sticks of gum before setting foot inside to see a Cubs game. 

So some British company called Willis Holdings managed to get their hands on the naming rights and BAM! we now have Willis Tower. Damn you, Brits, why did you have to do that? You just stole a piece of Chicago. I love your accents, your princes (the young, studly ones) and your tea, but that's it. Now I'm a bit mad at you for swooping in and taking our beloved Sears Tower.

I'd rather think of it as being named after the older brother on Different Strokes. And Chicagoans, I guess we better prepare ourselves to hear a whole lot of people say, "What you talkin' about Willis?" I've already heard that about 16 times over the last 24 hours. Oh well, I'm sure everyone will still call it the Sears Tower. I know I will. Willis just doesn't seem like a name that will stick. At all. 

This morning as Starbucks I was discussing the name change with my coworker. As we were waiting for our drinks, I said loudly, "Those damn Brits make themselves look like asses by swooping in and changing the name..."

Before I could finish my sentence, the guy standing next to me leaned over to get something from the counter. He grabbed his drink, turned to look at me and said, "Excuse me, that's my drink". In a VERY thick British accent. The way he looked at me, I knew he heard what I said. Whoops. But really, out of all the people in Chicago, the guy standing next to me had to be British? I have very interesting luck. 

And speaking of luck, tomorrow is the big day o' St. Patrick's Day fun in the city. I can't even wait. I'm getting up bright and early to go see the bright green river (love it), watch the parade, listen to fun music, drink endless amounts of green beer and soak up all the amazing Irishness. It's finally a day (well weekend in this case) where everyone shares my intense love of all things Irish. And then tomorrow night I'm heading down to House of Blues to see Gaelic Storm. Amaaaazing.

My thoughts exactly.  Happy early St. Patrick's Day everyone!


zentiment said...

I have never been a fan of St. Patrick's day. It always seemed like a useless holiday, like April Fool's. I never got into it. Well, my boyfriend is 1/2 Irish, and his family gets into it! Each year there's a party, with lots of drinks and it's always such a fun time. It's got me coming around! About the Sears/Willis Tower thing, lame! I would be so pissed if they switched a city landmark like that. It would be like switching the colors of the Madonna Inn from pink to green. If you lived around here, you would understand that our entire county would probably be enraged about that!

Maris said...

I agree with you on Sears/Willis. Just like we aren't going to start calling the Civil War something else, a landmark is a piece of history and I think the new company should respect that.

Cheryl said...

That is awesome.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Bayjb said...

I was furious when I heard about this. I actually thought it was a joke. It'll be one of those things that they change formally but the street name will always be Sears.