Monday, November 12, 2012

A First Time Visit to the Windy City


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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?
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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The kale, chard, and cabbage were a nice winter combination on the city streets.
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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?
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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....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

16 comments:

  1. I love the gardens along the city streets. I think more cities should do this!Great blog as usual!!

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    1. It was a real delight Christy! I could actually picture living in Chicago. BTW, my daughter and son-in-law found their dream property out here in Woodlawn, offer accepted and we are all so happy!

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  2. Willis Tower must be the former Sears Tower, but I didn't know the name had changed! The Crown Fountain is more fun during the summer--you'll find lots of kids and a few adults enjoying the cool sprays of water on a hot day. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to Chicago; it's a great place to visit and one of the friendliest big cities you'll ever visit.

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  3. What a beautiful post. I've never been to Chicago but think it would be a great tour. So glad you & Mr Fix-it got to go.

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    1. Thanks Lola, We had a super great time.

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  4. Glad you enjoyed Chicago. The Crown Fountain hasn't been working most of the times I've visited as well. Don't know why. Maybe technical difficulties. I hope you got a chance to check out the Lurie Garden in Millenium Park while you were in town. As for the revolving doors, I think it's because it seals out the wind.

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    1. Karen that makes a lot of sense on the revolving doors. Never thought of that-thanks! We did indeed visit the Lurie Garden and loved it!

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  5. You really are having a good time. Chicago really is a great art town, but it has been too long since I have been there. I love that sculpture. Yes it does look like a bean.

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  6. Very cool stuff. Have never been to Chicago. That bean is fun! I love revolving doors. I always choose the revolving over the standard door if there is a choice. We have ONE revolving door in our town. I never miss the opportunity to use it. Nice poetry garden and I'm always amazed at what a city will tuck into places. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. It's been a long time since we visited Chicago, and then it was only for a couple of days, definitely not long enough to do and see everything. It looks like you and Mr. Fix-it had a great time trying. Your post is making me homesick for St. Louis and its museums and gardens. Big cities certainly have their charms.

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  8. I've never been to Chicago, and didn't realize all that this city has to offer. Love the mercury bean! How cool! And that combination garden is just beautiful. Love the lights on stems.

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  9. I have been to Chicago one time as a teen. I went to a huge museum but do not remember much else of that trip. I should go again as I do have family in the nearby area that would be great tour guides! I feel as though I know the “bean” though since I have seen it on so many blogs! Of course with Spring Fling being there a few years ago, I saw it many times. I love revolving doors too. I don’t know why but they call out to me to give them a go. Many were in NY City and yes, there were some in Germany as well. We have one here at a restaurant called PF Changs and yes, I use it rather then the normal push door. Just a fun thing…. Cant wait to see your next installment of this fun week with Mr Fixit…

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  10. I LOVE that fun house image of you two reflected in the sculpture. It was also nice to tour Chicago with you - I haven't been in years and should go back.

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  11. Our youngest did her summer institute in Chicago and had a wonderful time exploring the city. Looks like you and Roger had a great time as well. Love the berries on the cotoneaster.

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  12. Looks like a great weekend visit. It's been years since we've been there and your post reminds me that its about time to go back...:)

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  13. I haven't been to Chicago in a long time, but I can see it has changed so much...would love to visit!

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