I’m in Chicago to speak at the Travel Blog Exchange today. But yesterday I had the privilege of meeting up with Lisa Lubin, the Emmy-award winning producer, travel blogger and Windy City resident, who showed me two remarkable attractions that I had somehow missed on my last trip to the area.
Both are located in Millennium Park, which is probably explains why I skipped them. When I lived in Chicago back in the 90s, this area was a busy network of railroad tracks.
The first is called Cloud Gate by British artist Anish Kapoor.
It’s a 110-ton elliptical sculpture made of a seamless series of polished stainless steel plates, which reflect the city’s skyline and the clouds above. No one calls it Cloud Gate here. It’s just referred to as The Bean.
It’s an endlessly fascinating work of art. A throng of tourists stood in front of it, gawking at each other and the cityscape reflecting behind them.
We also walked over to the Jay Pritzker Pavillion, a Frank Gehry-designed concert venue, where open rehearsals were being held for that evening’s Venetian Night festivities.
Two things impressed me: The unique sound system, said to be the first of its kind in the country, which mimics the acoustics of an indoor concert hall by spreading the sound across not only the fixed seats, but also the lawn, by way of a network of cables above the audience.
And there was soprano Nicole Cabell’s voice, which resonated through the concert area and beyond, all the way to where tourists were admiring their own reflections in The Bean.
Thanks for the tour, Lisa.