LINCOLN SQUARE — Chicago is famous for its skyscrapers, deep-dish pizza and now its chairs.
Over the past week, as many residents exercised what they consider to be their god-given right to claim a shoveled-out parking space, truly the variety of furnishings on display in the city's streets has been astounding.
Plastic chairs, office chairs, lounge chairs, folding chairs, upholstered chairs — the number of seating options seems endless.
Where some see junk, Craig Lee saw art.
A lightbulb went off in Lee's head back in 2011 as he stepped out of his Lincoln Square house post-Snowpocalypse.
The chairs he saw dotting the street reminded him of posters he'd seen depicting the doors of Paris, covered bridges and barns of the Midwest.
Lee grabbed his camera and with his then 11-year-old daughter serving as scout, went driving around looking for dibs chairs to photograph.
"We found as many as we could," Lee recalled. "It was easy, especially when we got to the Northwest Side."
Among his favorites: A lounge chair with a beer bottle resting on one of its arms, looking like it took a major wrong turn from its gig in a Sandals vacation ad.
"Some of the ones I found, I thought, 'This is nice,'" said Lee, but "most looked like throwaways."
He arranged the images into a collage-style poster, Chairs of Chicago, and sold copies in a handful of shops and on eBay.
"I've still got my day job, so that should tell you a little about my sales," he said.
Lee resurrected the poster following last weekend's snowstorm because plastic chairs, like the little black dress, never go out of style.
Measuring 24 inches by 36 inches, the posters cost $14.99 each (shipping included) and can be purchased online or at Ravensgoods, 4703 N. Damen Ave.
For the record, Lee remains neutral in the debate over dibs.
"I'm lucky because I have a garage," he said.
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