Saturday, August 08, 2009

What Is That Thing?

While we were strolling along Michigan Avenue, I paused to take an interesting self portrait. See if you can spot me.
If you know my travel habits, it's easy. I have a tradition which borders on superstition. On the first day of a trip, I wear the same green and blue striped Polo shirt. They family calls it my "travel shirt," and it can be spotted in photos from across the country and across the years. This is the second of its kind. The first one is filled with holes, but it has a place of honor on a shelf in my closet. The shirt is rarely worn in a non-travel context and my people are slightly unsettled if I leave home without wearing it.
Anyhow, my photos from Millenium Park have prompted more than one Daddy D reader to ask "what is that thing?" Let the mystery be solved: It's the Cloud Gate, and for obvious reasons it attracts crowds to its reflected clouds. It was designed by British artist Anish Kapoor. Here's the info from the Milleneum Park webpage:

The 110-ton elliptical sculpture is forged of a seamless series of highly polished stainless steel plates, which reflect the city's famous skyline and the clouds above. A 12-foot-high arch provides a "gate" to the concave chamber beneath the sculpture, inviting visitors to touch its mirror-like surface and see their image reflected back from a variety of perspectives.

Inspired by liquid mercury, the sculpture is among the largest of its kind in the world, measuring 66-feet long by 33-feet high. Cloud Gate sits upon the At&T Plaza, which was made possible by a gift from AT&T.

My observation that people in Chicago won't make eye contact with strangers in combination with my Cloud Gate encounter has had me singing the old Heart song "Dreamboat Annie." Here are the salient lyrics:

Going down the city sidewalk alone in the crowd
No one knows the lonely one whose head's in the clouds

Sad faces painted over with those magazine smiles
Heading out to somewhere won't be back for a while...

Sometimes, life is a song.

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