"I walk around Chicago, and look up at buildings of variety and charm. I walk into lobbies of untold beauty. I ascend in elevators fit for the gods. Then I walk outside again and see the street defaced by the cruel storefronts of bank branches and mall chains, scornful of beauty. Here I squat! they declare. I am Chase! I am Citibank! I am Payless Shoe Source! I don't speak to my neighbors. I have no interest in pleasing those who walk by. I occupy square footage at the lowest possible cost. My fixtures can be moved out overnight. I am capital."
— Roger Ebert, discussing architecture in his Chicago Sun-Times blog, July, 12, 2010.
During my nine years at the Chicago Sun-Times and in the 12 years since, Roger Ebert and I kept in touch, occasionally sending email to one another—mostly about film. We discussed the brilliance of 1993's Tombstone, particularly Val Kilmer's performance as Doc Holliday; that Michael Mann's big screen hit Heat was really a remake--albeit a fine one--of the director's 1989 made-for-TV film, L.A.