Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Calatrava in Person

Today saw one of the quicker turnarounds of my professional writing career -- about 24 hours from assignment to publication. I’ve never been a newspaperman, unless you count my stint as news editor of the Vanderbilt Hustler, and that only came out twice a week. I’m more used to the slower cycles of magazine publishing.

The Internet has changed all that. Or at least has that potential, even if it doesn’t always work out that way. Yesterday the editor of the on-line Slatin Report called to ask me to cover a press conference this morning at the Museum of Contemporary Art, which is on the near North Side of Chicago. It took some schedule juggling on my part to make it, but I wanted to go, so I did. The result was published earlier today.

The star attraction at the press conference was Santiago Calatrava, who spoke for a few minutes about a proposed condo development in Chicago that he’s been hired to design. (See my article for comments on that.) I’d never seen Calatrava or a picture of him before, but still he looked like I thought he would: a nattily dressed Spaniard of medium height and build. His accent was distinct, but didn’t overwhelm his English—which no doubt he’s used to giving speeches in.

I’m glad I got to see him speak. Double glad I’m going to get paid for it. In early September 2003, after interviewing Mayor Norquist of Milwaukee for a profile of him, I walked over to the Milwaukee Museum of Art, first spending some time in the museum itself, then timing my exit so I could sit outside and watch the building’s wings close for the day at 5 pm. Very cool. That, of course, is a Calatrava design, the one that made his name on these shores.

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At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That postcard you sent last year of the Milwaukee Museum of Art Wings was really cool. I had forgotten the architect's name. We don't have anything like that here in the "Land of Steady Habits" MT


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