Monday, December 01, 2008

The Library and the Bean

I love Chicago! I've taken my readers there before (click here if you missed it), but our Thanksgiving weekend trip there has inspired me to share more photos of the city. Friday had a spectacularly blue sky, so we wandered around Millennium Park and then took the Art and Culture walking tour offered at the ArchiCenter. The highlight of the trip was the old Chicago Public Library. The building now serves as the Chicago Cultural Center, where almost all events are free and open to everyone. If you're in town this Sunday, stop by for the dance-along Nutcracker Ballet!
This gorgeous dome tops what was the card catalog room in the old library. It could turn anyone into an avid reader (at least into an avid library-goer!).
Here's the tile floor in another room. By the way, you can rent these rooms for events of your own, but I don't know what they charge.
And here's yet more flooring in the ancient River Styx pattern, which unfortunately has Nazi connotations for modern viewers.
I took this closeup of another floor because I love the way it uses squares on point to make a zig zag. I've always used HST's, but this is rather clever, especially if you're making several zig-zag rows across a quilt.

You can see the Bean from the huge windows in the catalog room of the library.
Officially called Cloud Gate, by Anish Kapoor, the Bean is a reflective sculpture that you can view from all sides and can even walk under. I showed several photos of it in my earlier Chicago post, and you can read about it on the Millennium Park website. I just can't get enough of it.
Here's the top of the Bean running into the blue, blue sky.
And here it is again, later that day and from another angle. It's never the same twice.
This is what the fountains at Millennium look like in the winter with no water and no children splashing. The projected faces change frequently, but all are photos of Chicagoans.
I love this view through the winter trees!

We had to cut our trip short by a day because of a snowstorm. I took photos through the car window as we sped by flat Illinois farmlands that were rendered beautiful by the blowing snow. Most of my pictures are blurs, but here's one that actually came out. The whole drive from Chicago looks pretty much like this scene.
And we were greeted by our snowy yard when we arrived safely home. I love the first snow!


Exuberant Color said...

You have some great pictures of Chicago. I like the one through the winter trees too. I have only seen the bean from a bus window when I went to the flower show several years ago.

jacquie said...

we spent a bunch of time at the bean a couple of weekends ago when we were in chicago with my hubby for the weekend. my son and his photographer to be friend spent hours taking picture there. i've been meaning to hit the's only blocks from hubby's apt. now i KNOW i have to go. beautiful pics!

Catherine said...

Gorgeous pictures!! They really make me want to visit Chicago! The Bean is fascinating. The pictures of the trees with the snow is pretty -- but I hate that it means winter is almost here!

IamSusie said...

Yay Chicago! Isn't the snow glorious? It's sticking to all the tree branches making a frosty wonderland. It is pretty chilly though.

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

that old library is gorgeous. I love the dome. bean is awfully fun for photography. that artist had a piece in the Louvre amongst teh Assyrian collection. I just thought it was annoying there and jarring - much more fun out in the open. snow - eeek.

Norma said...

Oh my, you brought back memories of our Rantoul/Thomasboro days! We only got to Chicago a couple of times and that was to fly out or in. Great pictures, I love that tile floor. Funny how you get where you can see a quilt pattern! LOL

The snow pictures also jarred the memory process. It was miserable but the snow made it feel like Christmas. It is going to be sunny and 75 degrees today, flowers are blooming and we have tomatoes on the vine so it is hard to get that feeling here.

Clare said...

I've got Tonya's blog open at the pictures of Galeries Lafayette and yours open with the pictures of the dome in the Library. Not a lot of difference, apart from the Xmas decos!

It's amazing what quilters find in tiles and walls and other people can't see it!

Oh I long for The Bean. One day.

Libby said...

Dance along nutcracker? Seriously? That sounds amazing and funny. I'm loving the snow; it's perfect since it's really not too cold to get out and enjoy it a little.

sewkalico said...

I love your yard photo - definitely more snowy than mine ;-)
And the Bean is sooo beautiful.

The Quilting Pirate said...

Cheri, I so love looking at your pictures. You find the simpliest things and they are so inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your wondering eye.

jillytacy said...

I saw the Bean pictures from your post earlier this year but I enjoyed seeing it again. Lovely photos! I love the library dome and designs on the floor are amazing!