We spent a good part of the day roaming Chicago's Michigan Avenue region, the crown jewel, of course, being Millennium Park, Mayor Daley's ode to public space and private investment. Here are some of the better photos. (If only three appear, click the timestamp or the title to see all of them.)
At first glance, The Bean appears to be a bubble from another dimension, primed to burst and wipe out our existence.
A better angle, though, reveals its artistry, beauty, and charm. It's probably the most photogenic item in Chicago.
Be sure to go underneath The Bean, a vertigo-inducing experience, like walking into an Escher painting. This photo doesn't do it justice.
You can't miss Crown Fountain, packed with drenched kids and camera-toting moms on a hot July day. The digitally created face changes from time to time, blinking and spitting and flooding in regular rotation.
Sculptures by Mark di Suvero. Feel free to ride the cast-iron swing in the background.
Frank Gehry designed the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, if you couldn't tell. We listened to the Grant Park Orchestra's excursion through "Swan Lake," lounging on the grass. Best free concerts in America, I'm told.
The curvaceous and sun-friendly BP Bridge connects the eastern edge of the park to the world outside. (Another park.)
The Art Institute of Chicago, reflected. A docent would probably tell you that my photo epistemologically distances the viewer from the institute-as-object. I'm only guessing; we didn't have time to go inside.
A Moore sculpture outside the Institute, "Large Interior Form 6."
Trees are lovely, aren't they?
"Man Hanging Out" by David Černý, atop Columbia College. From a distance, you may not be able to discern that the man is Sigmund Freud.
Seagulls appreciate the finer things.
When walking about Chicago's downtown, beware the Segway tours. Here, otherwise innocent visitors learn to become fearless devil-riders.
Last, an update of the classic, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice!" How do you get to the Chicago Tribune? Inner drive! (The shot was a complete accident, I swear.)