You might never have heard of Vincent P. Falk, but if you've been a visitor to Chicago you may well have seen him. He has performed for the patrons on every single tour boat cruising the Chicago River. And he is known to every viewer of the NBC/5 morning news, and the ABC/7 afternoon news. He's the smiling middle-aged man with a limitless variety of spectacular suits. He stands on the Michigan or State street bridges, showing off his latest stupefying suit. He flashes the flamboyant lining, takes it off, spins it in great circles above his head, and then does his "spin move," pivoting first left, then right, while whirling the coat in the air. Then he puts it on again and waves to the tourists on the boat, by now passing under the bridge, always wearing a suit for the occasion: Shimmering black for Kwanzaa, red for Christmas, neon green for St. Patrick's Day so blinding Mayor Daley wouldn't have the nerve to wear it.
For ABC/7, he stands outside the big windows of the news studio, which open onto State Street. You can't miss him. For NBC/5, he's worked his way up to regular Friday morning appearances. The station's news studio overlooks Pioneer Court Plaza, and when the anchors go outside to chat with people, there's Vincent. He's agreed to appear exclusively on the Channel 5 early news, where I have never seen him, because his usual spin on Fridays is just before the 6 a.m. sign-on of the Today show.