Monday, May 27, 2013

Chicago - My Kind of Town

Some more pictures I'd like to share with you from our visit to downtown Chicago.

My header photo is of "The Bean", as it is affectionately called because of its shape. Official name: Cloud Gate (whatever the heck that means) by Anish Kapoor. It is made up of 168 stainless steel plates welded together and has no seams. (Jim and I were actually there when the Bean was just put together. We could still see the welding. That was back in 2004. It sure looks different now!) It is 33 by 66 by 42 feet. It weighs 110 short tons.*

Here is a closer look at the Bean. I love the reflection of the city's skyline in the sculpture. Too bad that there are other people around admiring the Bean, too!

This is our reflection in the Bean. Do we look like a couple of tourists or what? And no, we are not that younger couple walking by. Wouldn't that be wonderful if the Bean was magical and it turned your big old bodies into young, lithe ones when you saw your reflections? Ha!

When you walk underneath the Bean, it looks like an upside down metal bedpan! It is conclave, and the images are upside down in the center. The red arrow points to Jim and me.

Also in Millennium Park you will find Crown Fountain, which is an "interactive public art and video sculpture". Designed by Jaume Plensa, it is composed of two 50-foot glass brick towers that use LEDs to display videos on their inward faces. (Wikipedia) The videos consist of the faces of over 10,000 Chicagoans, who either stare or smile, but at some point purse their lips and water spurts forth. Between the two towers is a granite reflection pool. Here is the back of one of the towers.

Here is the other tower with a face on it. It was a cooler day, so not many kids were playing in the water.

FINALLY, the water started coming out of the mouth. Here's the video that I shot:

Here's an informative video about Crown Fountain and an inside look:

*INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW: What is the difference between a short ton and a long ton? The British ton is the long ton, which is 2240 pounds. The U.S. is the short ton, which is 2000 pounds. Both tons are actually defined in the same way. One ton is equal to 20 hundredweight. It is just the definition of the hundredweight that differs between countries. In the U.S. there are 100 pounds in the hundredweight, and in Britain there are 112 pounds in the hundredweight. This causes the actual weight of the ton to differ between countries. (cited)

In honor of Memorial Day and to the soldiers who lost their lives for our country, in 2010 Congress passed and the President signed an Act creating a National Moment of Remembrance which encourages people to stop at 3:00 pm for a Moment of Silence.

photo credit: Google

Please take time to remember the fallen.


Brian Miller said...

haha....what a, from underneath the bean rather looks like someone bent over from

JoJo said...

That's a cool fountain!!!! And the bean is so shiny. I wonder if people have to shine it after bad weather? Thanks for showing these 2 items!!!

Adam said...

I've heard of the bean, quite a work of art.

Pat said...

I forgot to add that the construction and design of Crown Fountain costs $17 million, and operates from May to October, weather permitting.

Anonymous said...

Love your photos of Chicago. It is quite a beautiful city through your lens.

I shipped cotton to the far east for many years and used that long ton, or as we called it, metric ton, figure.
I still remember 2204.6, even after 26 years away from the business.

Eva Gallant said...

What a wonderful post! Love the photos and the video of the fountain!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

How amazing! thanks for sharing...I'm envious both of your nearby real City and of your ability to get such great pictures ..and edit so we can see you in that reflection...amazing.

Sandy said...

Very very cool, would love to see both the fountain the bedpan in person. Great post and nice Memorial Day tribute also.
Still road tripping through a-z

Charlie Hewston said...

Post is preaty good….beautiful fotos...I like them very much...Thank's author for that:)

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DesertHen said...

What great photos! The shot of the bean is so cool!

Spent the day with my favorite dad!

Hope you had a good weekend!

in the coop said...

I've been to Chicago several times. That face fountain and the bean are great things to include on a trip!

Jim said...