Chicago's Millennium Park

8 July 2005 (Happy Birthday, Mom!!!)

A free public photography show at the park: Revealing Chicago: An Aerial Portrait, by Terry Evans

One of the water intake cribs in Lake Michigan

Site for the proposed Peotone airport. Yes, an obvious location for a major airport - just look at all of the transportation access and infrastructure and potential airport employees! Grrrrr

The Crown Fountain

It really must be seen to be understood

Hey, no spitting on the sidewalk!

"The Bean"

Anish Kapoor's sculpture is about the coolest thing in the city. Unfortunately, it has been put back under wraps to smooth out the seams, so all we can see now is the north end.

Watch as the tent gives birth to a big shiny melon!

and again

Bean-assisted self-portrait

and another

I tell you, this bean thing is addictive

Tricky way of taking a picture of the skyline north of me... while facing south (!!!)

The Lurie Garden

Compass plant and rattlesnake master and some sort of daisy

The "seam" that divides the "light plate" from the "dark plate", although the two halves of the garden will look pretty similar until the trees on the dark plate get bigger.

Echinacea and liatris

A prairie garden with Michigan Avenue in the background

There was nothing about these plants that wasn't painfully pointy! What are they? An Eryngium, as far as I can tell, perhaps bourgatii? I find it hard to believe these are in Apiaceae. Related to Eryngium yuccifolium, rattlesnake master, which is a native prairie plant.

More echinacea

View of the "dark plate" of the garden, and some funky light fixtures

The Pritzker Pavilion,
designed by Frank Gehry, who may or may not have been inspired by a particularly artistic pile of fritos

Not sure how I feel about this design. I do like the organic swoops and swirls against the otherwise rectangular skyline, but it seems to be missing pieces on the left and right sides where the buildings behind are visible through big gaps. It evokes the billowing of sails but lacks the purposeful symmetry and forward motion of a full press of sail. On a sunny day, there is always at least one section reflecting laser beams of white light directly into your eyes. Plus, the pavilion doesn't look nearly as nice from other angles, to wit:

I just figured out what it reminds me of. Remember in the intro to The Flintstones when they drive to the restaurant and the carhop balances an immense rack of (presumably dinosaur) ribs next to Fred, and the car tips over under the weight? These swirls are shaped like that rack of ribs. Never design a pavilion when you're hungry, Frank.

The Grant Park Symphony Orchestra rehearses in jeans and t-shirts. How long before they change their name to the Millennium Park Symphony Orchestra? or the Vienna Beef Symphony Orchestra at Millennium Park, brought to you by Fifth Third Bank?

Other misc. pictures of the park and the city:

Chicago Cultural Center, formerly the library, and Stone Container Building

Michigan Avenue streetwall

Butterfly garden

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