"And then, when I went to Chicago..." Sun Ra

September 23, 2011  •  Leave a Comment
Millenium Park Stage
"Bright Lights, Big City" Jimmy Reed's great Chicago Blues classic is what I had hoped to hear in my first visit to Chicago but sadly I didn't hear  that blues style at all.  Nevertheless, the Bright Lights, Big City label is right on today and Chicago turned out to be a big surprise.  I'm not sure if the skyscrapers are a massive façade hiding a troubled urban blight but what I saw was wonderful.  Environmentally conscious, clean, graffiti-free, culturally dynamic and architecturally amazing, Chicago beats Toronto by miles.

A view across the Chicago Tribune Plaza on Michigan Avenue, part of Chicago's Magnificent Mile, where the controversial 26 -foot Marilyn Monroe Statue was placed in July. They're not sure she belongs in the Windy City. The general cleanliness of the downtown was very impressive.





Chicago's Architectural Institute's First Lady boat tour provided a great lecture on the architectural story of Chicago. Most of the next images were taken on this tour.




Wonderful reflections resemble Art Deco era.  Mysteriously each pattern is very different on any individual window. This skyscraper called "333 Waker Drive."    
Another part of the same building:











There is an endless supply of great photographic possibilities in the towers:  Below the Aqua tower (middle) where each apartment has a unique balcony design to deflect the wind. It's the tallest skyscraper in Chicago designed by a female architect






More reflections:



Thirty-Eight moveable bridges span the chicago river and each has a distinctive operator's rooms from the simple to elaborate:








Millenium Park's famous "Bean" and "People Fountains" are great attractions:



RFP_7563
Legacy Tower behind "Bean" in Millennium Park


Under the Bean:





Walk a little further south and you find the treasures of the Chicago Art Institute:

Tang Dynasty, 9thC. women on horse

The modern bamboo artistry of Japan's Notoru

Contemplating Hopper's iconic "Nighthawks"
But art is on the street too:

Outside the Museum of Modern Art - 
This street art is a sad reminder.  T-shirts representing the young people who died in Chicago and area schools this past year:




Night Life: In search of the Blues



He said he was the world's greatest Blues singer.

Where's the graffiti?  Chicago Transit has ordered 300 new cars from Bombardier.

But everywhere there is this wonderful variety of buildings:

Willis Tower (formerly Sears) - World's Highest 1974-1997.  103 elevators

RFP_7564
Harbor Point residential and the old Navy Pier
458























The famous and lovely Wrigley Building (clock) is now dwarfed by the Trump Tower, Chicago's second highest and ugliest?

JRP_8809
The John Hancock Building, Chicago's 4th Highest.  

Top of the Chicago Tribune. Built after the Cathedral of Rouen's Butter Tower. The tower incorporates rocks from all over the world (Below)






Finally, half a day is not enough to explore the Chicago Botanical Gardens, 20 miles north of the city:


















Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...

Keywords
Archive
January February March April May June (2) July (2) August (3) September (2) October (1) November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December