Sunday, September 28, 2014


Imagine you have been out of contact with civilization the last few years, and you are walking through a public park in a large, metropolitan city.  All of a sudden, you see a gigantic silver object, shaped something like a bean, right in front of you.  People are walking around it and under it.  They are touching it and taking photos of it.  Then they quickly look at the photos they just took, and see an image of them self in their photo.

The giant silver bean made "selfies" a fun activity, long before the word became a phenomena on social media sites.  Of course, I had to give it a try, as evidenced in this photo!   Seasoned travelers will know I am describing "Cloud Gate" in Chicago's Millennium Park on Michigan Avenue.  It is a free-form  sculpture made of mirror-like stainless steel.  It is 33 feet high, weighs 110 tons, and was designed by British artist Anish Kapoor.  It serves to not only mesmerize visitors with their own reflection, but also to reflect the amazingly beautiful skyline of "The Windy City"!

Also in Millennium Park, is the Frank-Gehty-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion, with its distinctive silver band shell, framed by huge folded ribbons of stainless steel.

An overhead trellis made of interlaced steel pipes supports the pavilion's state-of-the-art sound system.  Up to 11,000 concertgoers can enjoy outdoor music performances in this thoughtfully landscaped park. 

As one walks in the opposite direction from the band shell on the gently climbing Bridgeway, you get the sensation that you are walking right into the skyline!

When you get to the top of the  tree-lined pedestrian bridge that connects the concert grounds to the area where the Chicago Art Institute is situated, turn around and look backwards to get a better overview of that amazing stainless steel trellis and the shiny, silver "shells" it is framing!

The landscaped gardens shown in this photo are a fairly new addition to the Millennium Park area, as they were built on top of the underground parking garage that is hidden deep below Millennium Park.  This "hidden" aspect of the parking garage is especially appreciated, because the design ensures that the view of the silver band shell and Chicago skyline behind it, is not obstructed by "ugly" stacks of parked cars!

When I visited, volunteers at the garden were giving free tours to visitors, to point out the native plants that were in bloom on this beautiful September day!

gentle curves of another pedestrian bridge that leads from the concert area, and passes over cars whizzing by below, also has pleasing lines. Its walkway is  made interesting through the use of various shades of weathered boards, along with shiny reflective rails, that match the other stainless steel designs of the park.

I spent the greatest amount of my time visiting Chicago's Millennium Park doing photography around The Crown Fountain. 

The Crown Fountain has two 50-foot-high, glass brick video towers showing a rotating display of diverse faces, contributed by a thousand Chicagoans.  Streams of water periodically shoot from the towers, making it look like the images are spitting into a shallow basin.

It was so enjoyable watching the little children splash around in the clear waters on the very warm day of my visit.

Perhaps since it was so hot and humid, there were a few adults who also wanted to get a "cooling off shower" from the fountain, as well!

It made my heart happy to see these little children laughing and giggling and splashing about in this "free-of-charge" big city "water park"!  I was SO THANKFUL for the opportunity to be visiting the city on a day when the weather was gorgeous, and the people were friendly!  Therefore, I am using this photo as a visual aid for my First Place 4 Health memory verse ( ) that says "Give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."  Ephesians 5:20.  I am thankful to God for a wonderful visit to Chicago's Millennium Park---it gave me "MILES OF SMILES"!  Tricia