Reflections in a Giant Magic Bean

This week’s edition of the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is my second foray into the field. It’s not a fierce competition with a major award at stake, just a fun excuse for participants to compare experiences and imaginations. I’m strictly an amateur pic-snapper, but it’s fun throwing my hat in the ring anyway.

My entrants were drawn from two separate visits to Chicago’s Millennium Park, home to a sculpture called the Cloud Gate, nicknamed “The Bean” by the locals because of obvious reasons. If a giant uprooted an entire hall-of-mirrors fun house, wadded it up in his massive mitts, left a dent in the middle by smashing it against his forehead, and then tossed it a giant rock polisher, it might look like this.

“Cloud Gate” by Anish Kapoor. Just imagine the beanstalk.

A local friend led us to it on our first family walking tour of the Windy City. This was my first time in town after the sculpture was dedicated in 2006. It’s now a required stop for all first-time visitors. Failure to include it in your first Chicago photo collection is a misdemeanor subject to a minimum sentence of two years’ Internet shaming.

Cloud Gate, Millennium Park, Chicago

The art gazes also into you.

The underbelly of the Bean is a whirlpool of distorted tourists. And the reflections are keen, too.

Cloud Gate, Millennium Park, Chicago

Under the Bean walk, out of the sun.

One wrong move around the Bean, and you’ll end up creating the most distracting lens flare of your life. You’ll also know how it feels to be a cinematographer on a JJ Abrams Star Trek film.

Cloud Gate, Millennium Park, Chicago

Friends merely stood and watched while the poor man’s head exploded.

Even the side view affords a charming reversal of the scenery behind you, and inspires just as much visitor enthusiasm.

Cloud Gate, Millennium Park, Chicago

Order of bean on the side.

My wife and I have taken later excursions alone to Chicago, enjoying the cute-couple thing as well as we can within my limitations.

cute couple. Cloud Gate, Millennium Park, Chicago

…and I’m sure we’ll see it again. We’re in the area once or twice a year for conventions and other great excuses to hang out in a city with better mass transit options than ours.

I’m hardly the first WordPress user to submit a Cloud Gate pictorial for this Weekly Photo Challenge, or the first Internet tourist ever to write about it online, but this one is mine and therefore the grandest of them all in my own mind.

7 responses

  1. I saw another blogger use this for this theme this week. it’s very cool and I like that you show different angles. i always find it fascinating when two people photograph the same thing but differently.


    • It occurred to me halfway through assembling the post that I should search and see if anyone else had had the same idea. Sure enough, there they were…but I decided to press on anyway. Luckily, it really is one of those rare objects of which no two photos can ever possibly be the same.


  2. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections (5) « What's (in) the picture?

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