The first I was ever near Millennium Park while I lived in Chicago was my freshman year of college when I reviewed The Millennium Perk coffee shop (Get the "Friends" reference? It's okay. I didn't get it the first time either. Go look it up. I'll wait...Done? All right then, back to my story). I went one evening to have a cup of coffee, got lost on the L, managed to eventually find the place, take my notes and go back to my dorm to type everything up. That was my first encounter. After that, my only encounter with Millennium Park was working across the street from it for three months in an office building on Michigan Avenue. I passed it and forgot it was there. But that just shows you how in the hustle and bustle of life, we don't see the amazing attractions that are really there until we come back as a tourist.
After Anna had kindly indulged me visiting some shops I missed and watched while I spent way too much money on stuff I probably don't need, we went to meet Nick in Millennium Park. That's when I saw the Cloud Gate on the AT&T Plaza.
The Cloud Gate is an 110-ton elliptical stainless steel sculpture to reflect the Chicago skyline and the passing of the clouds overhead. Designed byBritish artist Anish Kapoor, it is made from highly shined, seamlessly forged steel plates to create a 66-feet long, 33-feet high sculpture inspired by liquid mercury. As you approach it, you see your reflection in the surface. But more than that - you see yourself as part of the park crowd. You see you, the other people, the city, the sky. It is a surreal experience to see not just your own shape but your position in the world around you reflected back. Visitors are invited to touch the sculpture and are even able to pass through it under a 12-foot archway.
As you approach it, you see your reflection in the mirror-like surface. But more than that - you see yourself as part of the park crowd. You see you, the other people, the city, the sky. It is a surreal experience to see not just your own shape but your position in the world around you reflected back.
I don't know how I missed this for so many years. But I thought about that a lot in