Thursday, October 4, 2012

A day in Chicago, or, the lielā pupa (big bean)

My brother joined us for a day downtown. We took the Metra into Union Station.

54,000 people use the station (built in 1925) on a daily basis.
We crossed the Chicago River and passed the Sears tower. Actually the Willis tower, the naming rights were transferred in 2009.
It was the tallest building in the world for almost 25 years.
On a similar note, did you know the tallest structure in the EU is in Latvia? The Rīga Radio and TV Tower stands 1,209 feet tall.

We had lunch at the Billy Goat Tavern, immortalized by SNL and the Chicago Cubs curse.

Cheezborger, cheezborger, cheezborger. No Pepsi. Coke.

After a short rest and quick diaper change in the shaded gardens we visited with the famous lions guarding the entrance of the Art Institute of Chicago. The building that houses the museum was finished in 1893 in time for the World’s Columbian Exposition.

I had not been in Millenium Park outside of the winter months since it was completed in 2004, and so I had not seen the $17 million Crown Fountain in action. Creepy. A black granite reflecting pool is bewtween a pair of transparent glass brick towers that display videos of faces with fountains of water shooting out of the "mouths”.

Designed by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa and executed by Krieck and Sexton Architects
Nora’s father says no visit to Chicago is complete without a visit to the big bean, Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate.

Said to have been inspired by liquid mercury, the statue weighs about 100 tons
Even before we boarded the Amtrak to head home both kids were asleep. But that evening Lauris asked for vēl pupa, more bean.


  1. What a fun day! Look at all that sunshine!

  2. My brother lives in the Chicago area, and I have enjoyed visiting Millenium Park a few times. I love that they made such a cool and interesting place for both tourists and locals to enjoy! The summer before last, we went to an orchestra concert in the outdoor amphitheater there-- really fun and memorable. Glad you got a self-portrait at The Bean!

  3. That fountain is amazing and I didn't know the Sears Tower had been renamed. Definitely a place I would like to visit.

  4. Asking for "vēl pupa" is better than asking for "vēl vau-vau"...

  5. Oh man, you are making me miss Chicago!! I just love that city. My family has been there for 3 generations. If it weren't for the miserable winters I'd be back there in a heartbeat. Glad you're enjoying yourself!


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