I wasn't born here. But I've lived here for 21 years, so it may not be my hometown, but it is my home. I really love this city. And over the course of the next few weeks (who am I kidding, months), I'm going to try to share my love of this city with you, in hopes that you will consider coming here for a visit sometime in the future.
Chicago is a big city and a city of neighborhoods. It makes sense like few cities of it's size do. The roads are a grid and the street numbers actually mean something. We have two geographic features: The Lake and The River. And the river is mostly ignored.
Mountains? Not even in Mt. Prospect. Hills? Maybe in Hillside but not really. Flat as a pancake. Seriously, what other city would create a "nature park" on a man made peninsula called "Northerly Island" even when there aren't any other islands? The same city that reversed the course of its river.
Spring is finally here. We are entering the 6 months that explain why we live here. It certainly isn't for the winters.
So today at lunch, I walked over to one of our newest attractions: Millennium Park.
What used to be some open space over some rail tracks (the train station is still there. It's the blue floored place Batman road thru in The Dark Knight) and some unimpressive park space was turned into a beautiful new gem.
Officially known as 'Cloud Gate', but not by anyone who's not an official, this is a giant stainless steel bean. I had a view of this new city symbol going together. It's made out of a whole mess of sheets of steel (freakin' Google it yourself, you know that if I provide the link, you're not going to click it anyway) ground down to a seamless mirrored finish. How shiny? I circled myself taking the picture. Yup, see that red spot just left of dead center?
I then went under The Bean, and looked up the omphalos. It does a really cool fun house effect.
Speaking of a fun house, this is one half of the very popular Crown Fountain. There is an identical obelisk facing this one. Yes, it's spitting. In the summer, there will be a pack of kids out getting soaked by the periodic spray (it only fires off ever 15 minutes or so) or getting splashed by the water cascading over the edge. Those are LCD video screens, so the faces are animated, blink, pucker, and change.
Don't tell Cora, but I saw this other redhead hanging out in the park. I hear that it is visiting from even further west than her. Or is it east?
It's part of a contemporary Chinese sculpture exhibit going on at the park all summer.
There's lot's more to see and do at the park, but I didn't have enough time on my lunch break to shoot them all. The Pritzker Pavilion and the BP Bridge designed by Frank Gehry, and the Lurie Gardens.
If you're interested, and I'm not available, there is a free audio tour podcast that you can down load for HERE if you want to know more.