Signs, signs everywhere signs. That's especially true in the Chicago, where almost 1,500 honorary signs dot the city's streets. But behind the multitude of names engraved in the brown signs are some interesting people and stories. Here are some that caught RedEye's attention:
Hugh M. Hefner Way
Location: The corner of Walton Street and Michigan Avenue
Who? The Playboy founder and CEO who once made Chicago his home was one of the few street signs honorees to generate controversy because of the pornographic nature of his publication. Hef's sign has also been a target of theft from (surprise!) guys in their 20s who are likely trying to pimp out their bachelor pads.
Sammy Sosa Avenue
Location: Four blocks of north Western Avenue between Division Street and North Avenue
Who? Slammin' Sammy was a no-brainer for his own sign a decade ago, but Sosa's rapid fall from grace from both the Cubs and the city of Chicago makes this sign super awkward. No word on whether or not the sign is secretly made of cork.
Pat Sajak Avenue
Location: 3000 S. St. Louis Ave.
Who? The longtime "Wheel of Fortune" host was born and raised in Chicago and even graduated from Columbia College while working as a night desk clerk at Palmer House Hotel. He landed his first big break by winning a teen DJ contest on Dick Biondi's radio show (Note: Biondi also has a honorary street sign). Sajak didn't officially start selling vowels on TV until 1981.
Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.
Location: 326 W. 95th St.; 800 W. 95th St.
Who? There are plenty of reverends, rabbis and religious leaders with honorary street signs, but none as notable as Barack Obama's former pastor, who became a flashpoint of criticism during the 2008 presidential campaign for comments perceived as anti-American. Rev. Wright retired from his position at Trinity United Church of Christ on the city's southwest side later that year.
Diana Princess of Wales Place
Location: 700-800 N. Fairbanks Ave.
Who? The late British royal only stayed in Chicago for three days in 1996 to raise money for cancer research, but the city practically stopped as she spoke at a symposium at Northwestern and danced with John Travolta at a fundraiser at the Field Museum. The Princess Di experience was apparently impactful enough to get a street named for her a few blocks from the Drake Hotel where she stayed.
Fred Hampton Way
Location: 2300 block of west Monroe Street
Who? We tricked you because this honorary street doesn't actually exist. The proposal to name a street after the Black Panther leader, who died in a police raid in 1969, was voted down in 2006 because of the controversial nature of the group and some of Hampton's anti-police statements.
Ryan Smith, RedEye special contributor.Copyright © 2015, RedEye