Monday, June 12, 2006

The Bean

Here's another view of the Millenium Park band shell. This is actually the lawn where you can sit and listen to the concerts (or sit in the chairs if you pay extra). You can notice the speakers hanging from the steel tube frame overhead. In the background you can also see another controversial sculpture that citydwellers have named, "the Bean." It's actually a sculpture called "Cloud Gate" by Indian artist Anish Kapoor. The sculpture was another costly overrun, originally estimated at $9 million it ended up costing $23 million. When "the Bean" was first unveiled, the city tried to charge any "professional" photographer (read anyone with a big camera) a fee ($350) for photographing it, claiming they were required to because the artist held the copywrite. They have since reversed that order. I'll give you more of "the bean" in the future.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Pedestrian walkway

Here's another one of the park. Couldn't resist the lines and shapes, as well as the contrast of steel against the greenery.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Lake Shore Drive

One of my favorite views of Chicago, although the quality of this shot isn't that great (I was driving and holding my camera out of my sunroof). This is Lake Shore Drive and the Gold Coast coming from the north. I'll work on getting a better one in the future.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Millenium Park Bandstand

Judging from the response, a lot of people liked the fountain in the new park in my last posting. Here's another view of the park showing the bandstand and its unique sound system. A grid of metal arches that contain speakers overhangs the lawn in front of the band shell, making for an incredible sound experience sitting under the stars and the city lights. In the background are a couple of skyscrapers that surround the park on two sides.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Millenium Park in the Summer

My apologies for the delay in posting these last few days. Migration from one computer to another is never as easy as planned. Still not completely up to speed, but eventually it will happen. As the weather turns better in Chicago, the city's parks spring to life. The newest -- Millenium Park -- opened in 2004. It was supposed to open at the turn of the century, but building it took 4 years longer than expected and the cost rose from an estimated $150 million to $475 million. Still, most city dwellers like the 24.5 acre park located between the heart of downtown and the lakefront. Here is a photo of one of two 50 foot towers that project faces from people of Chicago. Every 4 minutes the faces pucker and out shoots a stream of water to the delight of younger visitors who can freely splash in the fountain.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Lincoln Park Zoo

Two swans, which were a gift from New York's Central Park, started the Lincoln Park Zoo in 1868. It is now the oldest free public zoo in the U.S. and is a world leader in wildlife conservation as evidenced by its international efforts to save endangered species.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Fullerton Avenue lion

Chicago certainly doesn't have the dercorative stone art of many cities, but it is around if you look for it (and in this case, look up for it). This one is atop a building on Fullerton Avenue near Lincoln Avenue on the north side of the city.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Baha'i House of Worship

Just to the north of the city along the lake, and near where I live, is the Baha'i House of Worship. There are seven Baha'i houses of worship around the world, and this is the only one in North America. The building was started in 1920 and took 33 years to complete. It's now undergoing a restoration, so this was one of the only accessible viewpoints that didn't show the construction site.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Soldier Field

Soldier Field, originally built to honor the 120,144 U.S. soldiers killed in World War I, is the butt of many jokes and a fair bit of outrage after being recently rebuilt with the idea of saving an historic landmark. Sports Illustrated has called it the "eyesore on the lake shore," and the Chicago Tribune said it looks "like the Starship Enterprise crash-landed atop the Parthenon." Nonetheless, it's here to stay.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Bus Stop

I don't want to show only tourist spots here, so here's a street photo of just a bus stop on the north side of the city.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Adler Planetarium

You can see Spring has arrived in Chicago, but some of the plants are still recovering from the winter. The Adler Planetarium is one of the museums on the peninsula called the musuem campus and from where I took the photo posted two days ago. It actually has two theaters -- a new virtual-reality digital theater and the orginal planetarium theater with a Zeiss projector from the 1930's. There is a nice little restaurant called Galileo's cafe where you can get a great view of the city. In fact, there's a live camera at the top of the building, so you can see what the city looks like right now from this link:

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Field Museum

The Field Museum, one of two large natural history museums in Chicago, holds more than 20 million objects, yet only one percent of them are exhibited at any one time. The museum is about to open its King Tut exhibition, which toured the U.S. 30 years ago and attracted 8 million visitors. The museum has already sold 175,000 tickets for the current show.

Chicago Skyline

Chicago is renowned for its architecture, a place where new building techniques have been developed and architects have pushed the edge with their creative innovations. Here is a view of the city from the southeast, showing an abundance of one of those innovations -- the skyscraper.