Chicago -- Marilyn Monroe's billowing skirt shows it's possible to catch a nice breeze in the Windy City.
As dozens of people watched Friday, a 26-foot-tall sculpture of Monroe in her famous pose from the "The Seven Year Itch" was unveiled on Chicago's Magnificent Mile. In the movie, a draft catches Monroe's dress as she passes over a subway grate.
Many in the crowd that descended on the plaza throughout the day - including a tuxedo-clad wedding party - wasted little time positioning themselves under the movie star's dress to catch a subway-level view and take pictures with their cell phone cameras. Not that Monroe, her eyes closed and a sublime smile on her face, seemed to notice.
Some of those who took pictures of the sculpture called "Forever Marilyn" were surprised when they came around the back of the sculpture and saw honest-to-goodness lace panties on the movie icon. The film scene and photographs taken from it left much more to the imagination than artist Seward Johnson's sculpture.
Just about the only ones who weren't happy with the view were Kendall and his 11-year-old buddy Raymond Qualls - who made sure everybody understood that when he took his picture, it was from the front of the sculpture and not behind or under it.
"I think her dress should be down," said Kendall, as Raymond nodded in agreement.
The sculpture, particularly the look on Monroe's face, captures the magic that people still feel a half century after the movie star's death, said 52-year-old Pam Jennelle, of Orlando.
"She's beautiful," she said. "How can you not love Marilyn Monroe?"
Chicago has a history of public art displays, including a herd of fiberglass cows that lined Michigan Avenue some years back. The plaza where Monroe will be stationed until next spring was the home a few years ago to another Johnson sculpture: the equally iconic, though far less glamorous, farmer and his spinster daughter from Grant Wood's "American Gothic."
This reminds me of the huge billboard used to promote Seven Year Itch. That also made quite the spectacle.