Millennium Park and the "bean"

Chicago Travel Blog

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Hancock tower
We had breakfast at a Starbucks down on Michigan Ave. Very stylish people were seen here! It was a cold and brisk morning, and we were bundled up.

We kept walking down Michigan Ave until we got to the Millennium Park. I wanted to see the sculpture called "Cloud Gate" by Anish Kapoor (the same British artist who did the "sky mirror" at Rockefeller Center we saw in New York. This sculpture is nicknamed the "bean" by Chicagoans, and is one of the most amazing and fun sculptures one can ever see. A 110 ton sculpture made with polished seamless stainless steel plates to reflect the skyline of the city and the clouds and sky above. At 66 feet long and 33 feet high, it is one of the largest sculptures in the world.
Old Water tower with Hancock behind
Shaped like a bean, it has a 12-foot high arch in the underbelly, which one can and should definitely walk into. Chicago has very beautiful skylines, and this sculpture bends and reflects it in so many ways that everyone just had an incredibly fun time looking at the reflections, taking photos. Who could have thought a sculpture would be so much fun? This is definitely a highlight of our trip, and from the looks of it, of everyone who ever sees it.

At the Millennium Park is also an outdoor concert hall designed by the famed architect Frank Gehry, and a "serpentine bridge" connecting the park to Daley Bicentennial Plaza. The 925-foot bridge provides great vintage points to enjoy the Chicago skyline, and is a joy to look at itself.

Then there is the "Crown Fountain", 2 50-foot glass towers stand at the opposite ends of a shadow reflecting pool.
The side of the Tribune building with its many origined stones/rocks embedded
Faces of Chicago citizens are projected on the towers, and every 5 minutes, they "spit" out a stream of water into the pool. This fountain is a favorite of kids ever since it was installed.

So Chicago in my view by having such a great park is definitely a great city to visit. Then of course it has the Art Institute of Chicago, a world-class museum, which we  visited next. The only silliness we found at the museum was that they charged $1 per checked article! The first museum I have been to which charges.

For dinner, we decided the restaurant we were at 4 years ago must have been Smith and Wollensky, so we went there to see if we can repeat the feast we had. It was definitely the correct restaurant, and my filet was as good as 4 years ago. The Frenc Onion soup was delicious, and the butternut squash side dish was like dessert. Definitely better than last night's dinner. On Yelp.com, one reviewer complained about the service, but we had great service!
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Hancock tower
Hancock tower
Old Water tower with Hancock behind
Old Water tower with Hancock behind
The side of the Tribune building w…
The side of the Tribune building …
Another view of some of the embede…
Another view of some of the embed…
The Michigan Ave side, with the bo…
The Michigan Ave side, with the b…
looking up at the Chicago Tribune …
looking up at the Chicago Tribune…
The Wrigley building
The Wrigley building
Chicago River
Chicago River
Tour boats on the Chicago River
Tour boats on the Chicago River
The Cloud Gate sculpture nicknamed…
The Cloud Gate sculpture nickname…
The sidee of the Cloud Gate sculpt…
The sidee of the Cloud Gate sculp…
The inside of the cloud gate sculp…
The inside of the cloud gate scul…
under the sculpture
under the sculpture
self protrait using the sculpture …
self protrait using the sculpture…
Cloud Gate and real skyline of Chi…
Cloud Gate and real skyline of Ch…
Reflected skyline
Reflected skyline
Cloud Gate and real skyline of Chi…
Cloud Gate and real skyline of Ch…
Another view under the sculpture
Another view under the sculpture
The ourdoor concert hall in Millen…
The ourdoor concert hall in Mille…
Stage and seats of the concert hall
Stage and seats of the concert hall
The steel plates of the serpentine…
The steel plates of the serpentin…
The serpentine bridge crosses a ro…
The serpentine bridge crosses a r…
the Crown Fountain from afar
the Crown Fountain from afar
One of the glass towers and the re…
One of the glass towers and the r…
The 5 minute special feature of sp…
The 5 minute special feature of s…
Yummy French Onion Soup at Smith a…
Yummy French Onion Soup at Smith …
My perfect filet mignon dinner
My perfect filet mignon dinner
the butternut squash which tasted …
the butternut squash which tasted…
Chicago General Tips & Advice review
This is a new park in downtown Chicago established around 2004. It is about 24.5 acres and has several really outstanding outdoor sculptures - Cloud G… read entire review
Chicago Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
This was the restaurant where 4 years ago I had the best filet mignon ever. It was tender and flavorful and just about melted in my mouth. However, I … read entire review
Chicago Hotels & Accommodations review
The hotels I looked up online for Chicago downtown were all about $300-400 per night, very expensive. I booked most hotels using Expedia on this tri… read entire review
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photo by: mahoney