empire state building vs chicago bean

Sven Kiesser/Shutterstock Wendy Williams Productions/YouTube Sean Pavone/Shutterstock (Licensed)

‘Clap if you care’: The Empire State Building mocks the Chicago Bean’s reopening online

A look at the online conflict between the two major city icons.


Mike Hadge

Pop Culture

Alas, Chicago’s “Bean” and New York’s Empire State Building are involved in some drama right now and all we “humans” can do is sit back and hope for the best. 

It’s never any fun when two friends fight, especially when those friends are easily identifiable city icons and especially when they’re city icons in separate cities.

It all started in August 2023, when Anish Kapoor’s famous Chicago “Bean” in Millennium Park was fenced off for work. According to a press release, “the ongoing work included the installation of a new waterproofing system, accessible ramps, stairs, pavers around the site and a complete revamping of the podium around ‘The Bean.’” Seems like a good idea overall. Some good ol’ TLC never hurt no beans. 

Chicago Bean announces its return on social media

Well, on Sunday, the Bean officially reopened to the public! “Our team applauds 2FM, the Millennium Park Foundation and everyone else involved in the reopening of this iconic public sculpture that has become a symbol of Chicago across the U.S. and around the world,” said Clinée Hedspeth, commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, in a statement. The reopening comes ahead of a four-day celebration of Millennium Park’s 20-Year Anniversary in mid-July. 

Naturally, the City of Chicago announced this big news on their Twitter:

Hooray for the Bean! All rejoice, right? Well, not quite all.

Empire State Building vs. Chicago Bean

Seemingly unprovoked, the Empire State Building took to Twitter to throw some serious shade at the lowly Bean—which had just been minding its business—via a clip of queen Wendy Williams asking her studio audience, “clap if you care,” followed by a silent audience. Ouch.

In Body Image

The Empire State Building social history

However, a deeper dig into the Empire State Building’s Twitter/X reveals that this is par for the course for this very arrogant structure.

Just look at how they handled being named Tripadvisor’s #1 attraction in the world earlier this week. Spoiler alert: not well!

Let’s not forget the absolute tailspin they sent NYC folks into this past April Fools day:

No surprise, when heading over to the building’s official TikTok account, it gets even more unhinged:

@empirestatebldg CAUSE HE CLIMBED ME AND I WAS REALLY SCARED #nyc #empirestatebuilding #newyork #planetoftheapes #kingkong ♬ original sound – Lionsgate
@empirestatebldg Oh we ATE #empirestatebuilding #newyork #nyc #besties #KARMA #jojosiwa @JoJo Siwa ♬ original sound – Empire State Building
@empirestatebldg Song of the SUMMER #empirestatebuilding #newyork #nyc #espresso @Sabrina Carpenter ♬ original sound – Empire State Building
@empirestatebldg How do you spell Gossip Girl? #empirestatebuilding #newyork #nyc #gossipgirl @Chace Crawford ♬ original sound – Empire State Building
@empirestatebldg Get in 😀 #nyc #newyorkcity #empirestatebuilding #empirestatebuildingxbigben #london #bigben ♬ Im your Uber driver get in – sacredsun

As of right now, the Bean has yet to respond, but let’s hope these two can work out their differences and don’t have a Godzilla vs. Mothra-like battle in our fair cities — very rad though that may be.

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