If you have never visited Chicago, aka the Windy City, it is a must see for everyone as far as large cities go. Mr. Fix-it and I were able to spend a weekend in Chicago and enjoyed our visit very much. We saw all the must sees (okay, not all but several at any rate), ate some famous stuffed Chicago pizza, and enjoyed the people and ambiance of the city. We'll start with the city part of our visit then by the end of the week we'll look at a well known garden named the Lurie Garden. Right now take a look at the Cloud Gate located in Millenium Park.
This sculpture is known as an interactive sculpture and can you believe that at one time the city of Chicago tried to require permits to photograph it? I just couldn't even imagine! I had fun photographing 'The Bean' as the sculpture is affectionately called in Chicago. Would you like to know why it is an interactive sculpture?
Well, if you look at the picture above it is of Mr. Fix-it and me and I actually took the picture! This picture is a reflection of Mr. Fix-it and me in the sculpture. The sculpture was modeled on mercury. Do you remember that chemical element that used to be used in old thermometers? Mercury is a fluid silver liquid metal. It is the only metal that is in liquid form. The Bean really seems to be a moveable sculpture and is considered interactive because it really is! No matter where you stand your reflection is different but quite realistic as though the reflection was from an actual mirror. The bean is quite shiny and so very beautiful as it reflects the city, people, and all of its surroundings.
There were a lot of tourists visiting Chicago including the two pictured above. We were asked to take a photo of some girls in front of a sign that said 'Millenium Park' so of course I asked them to reciprocate.
One thing Mr. Fix-it and I both noticed was there were a lot of revolving doors in Chicago. Perhaps this is a thing of big cities? I always associate revolving doors with cities at any rate. Although, now that I think about it there were several revolving doors in Germany as well.
I am pretty sure the above berries are Rock Spray cotoneaster. While we walked along the city streets both Mr. Fix-it and I were impressed by the planters all along the sidewalks. The cotoneaster was a groundcover under some beautiful crabapples.
Further away from Millenium Park we found a combination garden that contained sculptures and plants. The green 'stems' are actually speakers with lights on the end of them. The whole garden is called 'Poetry on State Street' and is presented by the Chicago Loop Alliance with the Poetry Foundation.
The kale, chard, and cabbage were a nice winter combination on the city streets.
A sight you cannot ever miss is the Art Institute of Chicago. I took the above shot of Mr Fix-it under a huge bronze lion (or perhaps copper as I am not entirely sure). The lion was immense! It was an amazing building and while we passed through it we did not take a tour. Our mission was to travel to the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. The building is called Willis Tower but used to have another name. Do you know the old name?
We finish out this post in Crown Fountain. This exhibit/sculpture is also interactive and has been a bit controversial. Not being from Chicago I actually thought this exhibit fit in perfectly with the park though it seemed to only work intermittently while we visited. On our way out though the faces did finally appear. This exhibit contains two glass buildings that reflect faces of the people of Chicago. When the faces were not on the tower we could see splashing water reflected in the towers but could not actually find the fountain. Wikipedia says the fountain is a great spot for people to cool down in the hot summers of Chicago.
Next up our visit to the Willis Towers....
in the garden....