Much LAZIER than your average blogger  
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5.30.2007 - 41 comments 

As you can see from this photo, we were on a little vacation with ours kids and grandkids in Chicago. And although I probably got enough pictures and information to make 20 posts from this little vacation. Of all the things we discovered, this Millennium Park was probably the most impressive tourist place we came across.

Millennium Park is actually located in downtown Chicago on Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Monroe Streets, the 24.5-acre park is an unprecedented center for world-class art, music, architecture and landscape design, where you can experience everything from interactive public art and ice skating to al fresco dining and free classical music presentations by the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus. Among the park’s prominent features is the dazzling Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue of its kind in the United States, designed by Frank Gehry, one of the world’s greatest living architects.

One other thing that my granddaughters were particularly enthralled with was the Crown Fountain. It was designed by a Spanish sculptor named Jaume Plensa, the Crown Fountain features two 50-foot high glass block towers at each end of a shallow reflecting pool. The towers are activated with changing video images and lights, and water cascades from the top of each. You could watch the people’s faces and all of a sudden they would put their lips together as if they were going to whistle and then water would spew out of their months as a kid would spit a mouth full of water at a friend.

By anchoring the southwest corner of Millennium Park at Michigan Avenue and Monroe Streets, the Crown Fountain is a major addition to the city’s world-renowned public art collection. Inspired by the people of Chicago whose faces appear on the glass towers’ changing video images, this site-specific work creates both a unique meeting point and a dynamic space for silent reflection. Utilizing water, light, and glass, Plensa has definitely created a bold statement that was sure to stimulate the many passers-by that invites them to enter and experience the rest of Millennium Park. I literally think I could have stood there and watched them for hours.

This particular bridge that Mrs. LZ, our youngest granddaughter and I are standing on is known as the BP Bridge. Its purpose is connecting Millennium Park to Daley Bicentennial Plaza, east of the park, this 925-foot-long winding bridge, Frank Gehry's first, provides incomparable views of the Chicago skyline, Grant Park and Lake Michigan. Clad in brushed stainless steel panels, the BP Bridge complements the Pritzker Pavilion in function as well as design by creating an acoustic barrier from the traffic noise below. It also has a 5% slope to allow easy access for people who are physically challenged.

The structure you see behind us is actually the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. As you can see it is a pretty, yet unusual design. It was designed by the winner of the National Medal of Art, Frank Gehry, who applied his signature style to this revolutionary outdoor concert venue. The Pavilion stands 120-feet high, with its billowing headdress of brushed stainless steel ribbons (which you can see here) that frame the stage opening and connect to an overhead trellis of crisscrossing steel pipes. The trellis supports the sound system, which spans the 4,000 fixed seats and the Great Lawn, which accommodates an additional 7,000 people.

This state-of-the-art sound system, the first of its kind in the country, was designed to mimic the acoustics of an indoor concert hall by distributing enhanced sound equally over both the fixed seats and the lawn.

We are taking off on a flight to California first thing in the morning, so like our little balloon sign says on this post, we'll be on vacation for a week in Northern California, followed up by another week in Southern California. So I'll be talking to you all when we get back and make it to our favorite destination... HOME!

“All generalizations are false, including this one.” ~ Mark Twain