John & Anne Wiley

2011/05/26

Chifogo

It’s cold outside, campers! Wind, rain and fog that blow off the lake and chill to the bone. Though storms are blowing in from the West, the lake was sending shredded shrouds into the city making magic with the remarkable architecture.

0583 Chifogo

0583 Chifogo

Here at the Navy Pier we saw tour boats all idle even though tourists like us were joining locals strolling the waterfront. Further along at Millennium Park we looked back to see the lake still puffing foggy wisps between the towers.

0605 Chicago Mist

0605 Chicago Mist

If you’ve been to Chicago you probably know what this seahorse sculpture is doing.

0610 Spewing Seahorse

0610 Spewing Seahorse

This monster fountain produced an inexplicable mild discomfort as we paused to gawk.

0619 Buckingham Fountain

0619 Buckingham Fountain

You may not get that feeling from this still pic (I still do, having seen it in motion), but my theory is the effect was produced by the fact everything is spraying water into the fountain. Don’t most fountains have water sources inside that then flow naturally down and out? This one is constantly overflowing, like a giant stone ship afire and surrounded by fire boats dousing the flames until it looks like the whole thing is going to sink. Nearby out on Michigan Avenue are other interesting period sculptures and monuments mingling with modern works.

0642 Mixed Media

0642 Mixed Media

The overall effect is a surround panorama of fascinating art & architecture, made even more intriguing for us by the constant ebb and flow of foggy fingers adding life to the still forms. From here we hopped a Metra train out to the University of Chicago so we could check out the 7th most popular place to go, according to Anne’s research. Walking into the campus from the train I paused to admire this building for sale, with the strange effect of a streetlamp amid the leaves in the gathering dusk.

0646 Quiet Dominance

0646 Quiet Dominance

Something about the way it silently dominates the surrounding two-story residences just begged for a pic. The International building also merits at least a brief pause we found.

0647 Another Style

0647 Another Style

There are just too many interesting buildings and ornamentations for the time we had before our destination closed. But here’s another I stopped to snap.

0651 Carrilon?

0651 Carrilon?

At last we arrived at the Oriental Institute to wander in wonder among the antiquities on display, like this enormous set of stone carvings.

0654 Carved Figures

0654 Carved Figures

I imagined the people who posed for the sculptor, and the hands of everyone who had carved and then touched them over thousands of years when they weren’t buried under tons of sand. In another of the large rooms a towering figure looked down at us from the distant past, with a look that somehow conveys serene ultimate power.

0658 Head of the Giant

0658 Head of the Giant

Just as this remarkable free museum was closing, we came to a collection of artifacts that have survived for six thousand years.

0668 Used Bowl

0668 Used Bowl

What potter collected just the right clay and molded it into this bowl, then decorated and fired it? How many owners ate from it and washed it? What stories could it tell since created in 3,800 B.C. and how would they differ from a very similar looking hand-crafted bowl?

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