Posts Tagged ‘The Bean’

Today you’ll be happy to be doing a virtual walk, as this walk was cold and windy, windy being a trademark of Chicago, and as I’m writing this, it’s also cold and windy. But you don’t even have to bundle up, whereas this poor lion in front of the Art Institute of Chicago was wearing nothing but a wreath. (He’s even blue with cold!) The enormous line of people waiting were bundled up a lot more.

We’ve seen part of the weaving exhibit at the musuem, but today we’re going to venture around the environs of the museum, heading toward The Bean, more formally known as Cloud Gate, in Millennium Park. But first let’s take a look at Crown Fountain, where the faces change regularly in all seasons, but no water comes out in winter. Wonder why? 🙂

(more…)

© janet m. webb

for One Word Sunday, courtesy of the Bean, Chicago

The Windy City

Posted: October 30, 2016 in Personal
Tags: , , ,

There’s some disagreement about why Chicago is called “The Windy City.”  One side says the name comes from the hot air of its politicians; the other that the winds which seem to come down every street in all directions at the same time are the cause of the title.  I say going with both is a safe bet.

Early Friday morning, our older daughter, her boyfriend, and I were at the Naperville train station to catch the Metra into the city.  Leave by any train up to and including the 8:25 am and it will only take about 30 minutes to arrive at Union Station.  Wait ten more minutes and the journey jumps to an hour and twenty minutes!  No prizes guessing which we took.

After a coffee stop for them, we walked down to Michigan Avenue, introducing her boyfriend to The Bean.  Follow my signature and you’ll find me at the end of it, taking the shot.

© janet m. webb 2016

(more…)

August is flying by with indecent haste, bringing thoughts of the colors of fall, even though green is still rich and abundant.  However, it’s the third Monday of the month, meaning we eschew color for a trip back into the time of black and white photography.  So simple now to play not only with color/monotone, but to edit, undo, redo, do more and different things.  I’m hearkening back to earlier this year when I took the train into “the city”, Chicago proper, and while waiting for the Art Institute to open, enjoyed a distorted view of the city and my fellow humans courtesy of The Bean.

In photos of the outside of The Bean, the city appears to bend and curve, but when shot from underneath, The Bean hints strongly at Escher and his contemporaries.  It also translates easily into monotone showcasing that distorted, other-worldly, impossible world.

IMG_1020

IMG_1020-001

 

 

 

I’ve taken you on the train from Naperville into “the city”, AKA Chicago. We’ve seen the urban canyonlands and a few items from the Art Institute of Chicago.  Last week, I shared photos of the Bean from around the outside.  The reflections of the sky, buildings, and people are amazing.  But get under the Bean and everything looks different.  From a quirky distortion of its surroundings you’re taken into the land of M.C. Escher (or into section of the circus fun house with the funky mirrors.)

© janet m. webb 2016

© janet m. webb 2016

In 2004, sculptor Anish Kapoor’s “Cloud Gate” was unveiled in Millennium Park in downtown Chicago..  The initial mocking sobriquet of “The Electric Kidney Bean” was eventually lovingly shortened to “The Bean” and Chicago and its visitors embraced this marvel. 80% of it reflects the sky and twice a year it gets washed with 40 gallons of liquid Tide, the better to reflect both the city and its enthralled visitors.

When first spotted, the resemblance to a space ship is strong.  On this warm, sunny spring day, it’s a stunning sight and up close, it’s even more intriguing.

© janet m. web 2016

The edge seems to flow seamlessly into the sky and the city takes on a whole new beautiful look as it bends and reflects.

© janet m. webb 2016

With a little vintage riff, you get an old picture postcard look.

© janet m. webb 2016

I had a good time taking photos of people taking family or group photos so they could all get in the shot.  In return, someone offered to take one of me, doing my part to keep the Bean in place.

© janet m. webb 2016

Under the Bean, though, things change from a distorted yet charming reflection of the city to a definite Escher-like look. But that’s a picture story for another time.