Have You Been to “The Bean”?

After disembarking the architectural tour boat, I couldn’t wait to get over to Millennium Park to see Cloud Gate; affectionately known as “The Bean”.  The stroll through downtown was lovely, but my heart skipped a beat when I saw a thick stand of trees, just up ahead.  We were almost there and I couldn’t wait to get my camera out and start clicking away…

Cloud Gate, a huge bean-shaped stainless steel sculpture, designed by Anish Kapoor, was constructed between 2004 and 2006.  It is the centerpiece of Millennium Park; Chicago’s largest rooftop garden that takes up 24 acres of Grant Park.  Millennium Park is a 24-acre rooftop garden, you ask?  Well, yes, because it sits atop a parking garage and the commuter rail.  What an amazing use of public space!  And, it has become Chicago’s second-most favored attraction, after Navy Pier.











I could have easily stayed at The Bean all afternoon and into the evening, thinking of various other ways to photograph that magnificent sculpture.  I could only imagine what fun it would have been capturing the city lights, at night!  But, I tore myself away, so Laura could show me the park’s fountain.  WOW!  How cool is this?

Crown Fountain is a video sculpture named in honor of Chicago’s Crown family and designed by Jaume Plensa.  The fountain is composed of a black granite reflecting pool placed between two transparent glass brick towers that use light-emitting diodes behind the bricks to display digital videos.

Other highlights of the park include Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the most amazing band shell I have ever seen:




Lurie Garden was a lovely addition to Millennium Park.  The 2.5-acre public garden is a combination of perennials, bulbs, grasses, shrubs and trees.  It is the featured natural component of the world’s largest green roof.



After strolling through the garden, we ended our day at The Art Institute.  Stop by shortly for highlights of the exhibits we enjoyed , before wrapping up the evening with dinner at Frontera Grill!

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