Friday, March 18, 2011

Chicago, Chicago...

I wanted to share some more of my Chicago experience here... this song from Frank Sinatra was the music in my head as I walked around this amazing city...
The view from the Michigan Avenue Bridge

I got into Chicago the day after their famous St. Patrick Day's Parade and was lucky enough to get a glimpse of the river they had colored green for the occasion.  The view itself is lovely but the green river added an extra special photo opportunity, I think...

The Famous Water Tower on Michigan Avenue

There seems to be a lot to do and see in Chicago but my limited time was spent on Michigan Avenue walking to the Art Institute or back from the Art Institute and running in and out of interesting sites I saw along the way.
Michigan Avenue is the most major road, and Magnificent Mile, for the most exclusive stores plus the best shopping in the city, and the famous Water Tower are all on North Michigan Avenue.
Anish Kapoor, Cloud Gate, (Millennium Park)
As I was making my way down to the Art Institute, I noticed this wonderful sculpture and I had to go and see up close.  Cloud Gate sits on a plaza above street level and is impossible to miss.  I had no idea that this sculpture by one of my favorite artists Anish Kapoor was in Chicago, so it was even more exciting to stumble upon it as I walked down the street.       

I was so fascinated with this sculpture that I think I might have gone a little bit over board with the photographs I took.  Honestly, though, I can't imagine anyone passing by it without taking at least a second or a third look.     

Cloud Gate is Anish Kapoor's first outdoor public monument in the United States, and as with all his other works, it has a magnetic quality that draws the viewer in.   

"What I wanted to do in Millennium Park is make something that would engage the  Chicago skyline... so that one will see the clouds kind of floating in with those very tall buildings reflected in the work.  And then, since it is in the form of a gate, the participant, the viewer, will be able to enter into this very deep chamber that does, in a way, the same  thing to one's reflection as the exterior of the piece is doing to the reflections of the city around."
                                                                                                      Anish Kapoor

 These are the two towers of Jaume Plensa's Crown Fountain, that are supposed to be the ends of a shallow reflecting pool.  It is recalling the traditional fountains with the faces of mythological figures with open mouths beings portrayed with water, the symbol of life,  flowing out of their mouths.  Due to the season the pools was empty but the projections of the faces of 1000 Chicago residents was still going on.

Frank Gehry, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, 
(Millennium Park)
Millennium Park is like a wonderful mirage in the middle of the city that surrounds the individual with all its tall, modern buildings.  When I was walking around Chicago I felt like a little  figure walking around in an  architectural model.  I really fell in love with this effect of being engulfed within the cityscape yet feeling as if I could look upon the whole from another perspective.  Millennium Park seems to fit perfectly into the rest of the texture of the city since it is not just a park but almost an outdoor museum with all the different parts designed by world renown artists and architects.  

view of Millennium Park and Frank Ghery designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion from
Nichols Bridgeway connecting the Park with the Art Institute of Chicago
Of course, one of the main attractions of the park for me was the bridge that connected it to the Art Institute's Modern wing.  

Frank Ghery, BP Bridge,
(Millennium Park, Chicago)
I wanted to walk through the Park to get a view of Lake Michigan, so we used the BP bridge which was a winding, stainless steel structure with magnificent views of the city and the lake at the same time.  

A Sculpture Group on the riverwalk
We walked down to the Lake and around to the Riverwalk.  We just took where the path led us without any itinerary or end destination in  mind.  

Trump Tower

We actually ended up right below the bridge on Michigan Avenue which was an easy walk back home. 

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