Credit: John Caruso

The bespectacled cigar store Indian

63rd and Pulaski

At the same time American Indians introduced Europeans to tobacco, they also introduced them to—eyeglasses. Or so you might conclude upon seeing the bespectacled 14-foot-tall Indian that stands atop a former cigar store at 63rd and Pulaski. Much has changed in this neighborhood, West Lawn, in recent years. For decades the area had been virtually 100 percent white, but now it’s largely Latino. The store beneath the Indian used to sell cigars; now it’s a farmacia. Adjacent to the farmacia is the Midwest Eye Clinic. Why waste a perfectly good Indian statue? Now he’s wearing glasses and has a blue and white sign stuck to his shirtless red chest and the top of his white pants: EYE CAN SEE NOW. He’s been the target of vandals through the years, but there currently are no arrows in his back, as far as I could see. —Steve Bogira