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The Chicago 2018 Birthday Weekend, Part 2 of 4: Gray Friday, Windy City

Buckingham Fountain!

I’m told Grant Park’s Buckingham Fountain is pretty when the waters are working and beautiful when lit up at night. We got neither.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: for Anne’s birthday celebration this year, we headed up to Chicago for yet another weekend — this time mostly to attend the inaugural Ace Comic Con Midwest at Navy Pier, and partly to see if downtown Chicago contained any sights we hadn’t already seen and/or shared. In past years we’ve shared pics of the Lake Michigan shoreline, the Magnificent Mile, and scenic Navy Pier, among other locales you can find with MCC’s “Chicago” tag alternating in between their frequent conventions.

Sooner or later we expect to run out of reasons to keep exploring the Mile and the Loop again and again, but we did what we could with the hours allotted and the ugly autumn weather against us. Temperatures were in the 40s all day Friday and light rain turned the early afternoon into a bit of a bummer. We walked around for a few miles anyway to spend time with each other and to kill time before the con began at 4 p.m.

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Our 2009 Road Trip, Part 2: One Great Big Magic Bean

The Bean!

A strange case of art holding a mirror up to society and proclaiming, “Everything is a fun house now! It’s WACKY!”

It’s odd how repeated exposure to some unusual sights can subtract from their specialness if you’re not careful. Anne and I have been back to Chicago so many times since 2009 that we hardly glance at “the Bean” anymore, let alone gaze into its distorted reality in search of wonder and/or explanation of how they made it. It’s fun looking back on our first encounter and reliving that singular moment when we stepped onto its platform with looks that said, “…what the heck?”

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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.

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