Some have speculated that the photos of William were taken during our trip to MFF. In reality, these were captured as early as July, in anticipation of his grand debut at the Chicago event. In fact, we had subtly hinted about our July whereabouts in a previous backstage article.
We chose Chicago for William's photoshoot not only because it's his hometown, the Windy City, but also due to the proximity of the Kendall County Historic Courthouse. This historic site, doubling as the Echo town hall in the story, provided the perfect backdrop. Most of the photos were shot there, capturing the authentic essence of Echo.
To express our gratitude, we hosted a local friend at The Signature Room & Lounge at 95th, one of Chicago's most renowned restaurants atop the Hancock Tower. Our visit coincided with a thunderstorm, offering a truly breathtaking experience.
To our surprise, The Signature Room & Lounge at 95th closed down in September, shortly after our visit. The owner cited an inability to afford the new rent after 30 years under the previous lease. Ironically, despite their prime location, they had refrained from excessive pricing, offering value that even surpassed the observatory a floor below. During our July visit, it was still more economical to enjoy a drink and appetizer there than going to the observatory for $35.
Chicago holds a special place in our hearts. Of our team of seven, three members have lived in the Chicago metro area. Back then, businesses like The Signature Room prioritized quality over profit, a sentiment now seemingly fading away. It's disheartening to witness the end of an era that valued authenticity over commercial gain.
Nonetheless, we think we'd come back to Chicago again. We hope for a resurgence of that golden era.