An ex-pat Filipino friend who has lived in Chicago for many years took us to see his favourite thing:
A sculpture by Anish Kapoor, “Cloud Gate”, is made up of 168 highly polished steel plates with no visible seams. It weighs 110 tons; think gi-nor-mous. The sculpture is situated in Chicago’s beautiful Millenium Park.
More important than any of its vital statistics is the way the public is drawn to this shiny feature, like latter-day Narcissuses trying to discover themselves in warped reflections. Kids leap, adults pull faces, and everyone is photographing themselves or each other.
Chicagoans don’t call this object of their affection by it’s proper name; rather it’s dubbed “The Bean”.
I like this city, not the least for the fact I’ve found a reasonably good Iyengar yoga school about 30 minutes away by elevated train (better known as the “L”).
This is a people’s city, full of universities, colleges, technical institutes and art schools. You’re never far from a park, good food or cultural stimulation. The city is working on leading the way in various green initiatives, like the long hybrid city buses for public transport.
I agree totally with Mark Twain’s assessment from the late 1870’s: “She is always a novelty; for she is never the Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time.”
I feel quite proud to own this town as my birthplace.