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Monday, June 16, 2008

Cloud Gate


I was in Chicago with five friends for the weekend to celebrate Inge's birthday, happy me! It's just a 4-hour drive, and we don't get there often enough.

Inge's sister flew in from Germany, and three friends from Minneapolis took the low cost intercity Megabus, which turned out to be a 13-hour nightmare Friday of three miles forward and two miles back through the flooded plains of Wisconsin. Horrible! I hope they're home by now, since the bus driver for yesterday's return trip didn't seem to have a clue about the floods and after 4 hours on the road last night they were headed BACK from Milwaukee toward Illinois!

But we had a fantastic couple of days in the city, with gorgeous blue skies.
I had never seen the stainless steel bean sculpture by British (but Bombay-born) Anish Kapoor called "Cloud Gate" in Milennium Park. (Please click on the link in "Cloud Gate" to see the bean shape, which I didn't photograph.) It's inspired by liquid mercury, which I remember playing with as a kid when a thermometer broke. Do you see my reflection, below? (Sorry, I don't know why the image doesn't enlarge when you click on it. That feature is so inconsistent for me!)
The weekend was clouded for me big time by the death of Tim Russert. I still can't believe he's gone. No one will be able to take his place. And in one of the most stimulating presidential election years ever!




I added a closer picture for you, Sharon. Me in the bottom right wearing my new $7 linen skirt from Filene's Basement.

28 comments:

Anet said...

Hi Ruth, I haven't been to Chicago in sooooo.... long. I love the bean sculpture! I have to see that for myself!! Great Pictures:)
It's really sad about Tim Russert he was really great. I'm going to miss him...
I'm glad you're home safe.

Mrs. M. said...

I agree with you about Tim Russert's passing-I'm not sure who else I trust for election night coverage and pre-election scrutiny. I feel most sorry for his father, wife and son.

Sharon said...

Death, Flooding, Friends, Art, Torture by Travel.....the whole spectrum of life in one weekend.


Damn that unfortunate photo glitch.....how could that happen?! Because you know, after absorbing all of those emotions I really wanted to see you! ;)
Glad you're back!!!!

Ruth said...

Thanks, Anet. Aside from a one-hour stop-and-go traffic snarl, we had easy sailing ourselves. What is wrong with us that we don't take advantage of that great city so close by? I complain that I'm not closer to NYC (well I would love to be closer to my daughter), yet there is this amazing city within easy distance. Go go go, get there!

~ ~ ~

Mrs. M., the man had a passion for politics that showed me if you do whatever you do with passion and love, you will have an impact. Yes, the timing of Father's Day made it especially hard knowing how much he cared for his son and father.

~ ~ ~

Sharon, there really was a lot packed in, and I wimped out many times compared to the rest of the gang, heading back to the hotel for a rest. :|

I posted a closer photo for you! Thank you so much, I loved going to the city, and I loved coming home to Don and the farm.

Sharon said...

You know how you form an image of a person in your mind's eye and that's who that person becomes to you? Well, my image of who you are, and what you look like, came from your Ann Arbor post (Dec. 07) unfortunately I've been picturing your friend in my mind this whole time!!! Geez......Thanks for straightening me out!!!

Ruth said...

Oh Sharon, that's sweet! And that is the same friend whose birthday we celebrated on this weekend in Chicago. Nobody I'd rather be mixed up with than Inge. :)

Anet said...

So Ruth, what a cute shape you have! :)

Ruth said...

Anet, shall we say like a bean? Jelly bean? Thanks. :)

Loring Wirbel said...

Chicago is so fun, my nephew lives across from Wrigley, and my sister is in Michigan City. Hope to spend a little time near Wrigley Field at the end of the month. If this was a fair world, I would have been there this week for a technical conference that has been in Chicago for years. This year, they moved it to Las Vegas. In the past three years, 2/3 of all technical/scientific conferences have moved to Las Vegas. Must be strong-arming by the Las Vegas Convention Bureau. Chicago and Atlanta are such charming cities, Las Vegas is armpit hair.

Ruth said...

Hahahaha, Loring, that's funny. Must be strong-armpit-hair. I hear such mixed reviews of LV. Some people love it. But I think they're the ones who go and gamble, and they love a certain casino. I must say I haven't been tempted to go myself, except for one time when we were cross-countrying from Pasadena and we stopped for a super cheap buffet when the kids were about 2 and 3. And during the storms, did you ever make it to Chicago?

André Lemay said...

This seems a very interesting place to take photos. Yours are great.

Don said...

Playing with Mercury! Do you know how danerous...! Actually I remember helping a fellow seventh grader scoop up a half a beaker of mercury he dropped into the hallway at our middle school. Can you imagine what would happen today if someone dropped that much mercury in a public school? It would probably close for a month! I remember being amazed that it didn't get dirty on the dusty hallway floor.

Excellent photos my dear!

Sandy said...

That was cool to read and see and peek a boo I see you there in your 7 dollar linen skirt. Cute!

I enjoyed your post.

sandy

Ruth said...

André, I think you would have a lot of fun taking pictures of yourself, and maybe your chickens!

~ ~ ~

Don, a wonder we're alive, and growing old together. :D

~ ~ ~

Auntie Sandy, thank you!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Ruth, Glad you had a chance to get away with your friends.. and then share it with us...
I remember coming across that fabulous sculpture in the past when I was surfing but couldn't remember where I had seen it... Ah-ha... Thanks...

And you do wonders for that $7.00 dress... Feels good finding a great deal, doesn't it... You look lovely!!!

Loring Wirbel said...

Ruth, I was in Chicago for a total of about 19 hours June 9, mostly in Rosemont except for a brief subway hop to Damen to check out Reckless Records. Right now, I'm in Armpit City, where the temperature is 108 degrees F and everyone seems to have forgotten the deodorant.

Ruth said...

Hey Gwen! Happy to relocate the bean for you. Oh yes, I could have spent all day in Filene's alone, that place could turn me into a shopoholic - which I'm not! Thank you.

~ ~ ~

Dear Loring in Strong-Armpit-City, I'm sorry you have to sit in AC, or venture out with the smellies, instead of visiting your fave Chicago haunts. BTW, that email exchange of your buds was quite entertaining.

Loring Wirbel said...

Ruth, if you want "interesting", check out Gary's web site at http://www.acmevaporeware.com -- though translation of some of the feng shui and torpoflux..whatever portions may be necessary. His books are hilarious.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Loring, the URL was off a bit: www.acmevaporware.com.

Funny stuff! I see others share your warped sense of humor! :D

VioletSky said...

I've always wanted to visit Chicago and I keep putting it off, but you have provided two more reason to get myself over there!

Ginnie said...

Oh, goody gumdrops, Ruth. I was hoping to see something from your Chicago weekend. But the Cloud Gate sculpture is brand-new to me. Never heard of it, so thank you for the education! You are so cute in it's reflection! :)

Ruth said...

Sanna, you have to go! There are one million reasons, and you'll discover the best ones yourself.

~ ~ ~

Boots, thank you sweetie. I know! Even Millenium Park was new to me, that's how far behind I am on Chicago. I hope you're feeling better!!!

laura said...

Sounds like a great trip, Ruth; it's so nice to be with one's girlfriends! ;-) I love the bean--it's brilliant; what a photo op: it's irresistible!

laura said...

It is very sad about Tim Russert. I copyedited his book, Big Russ and Me, and he called me at home to thank me--the first and (so far) only author who ever did. After I got over the shock, I was very impressed, astounded really; he was most kind and thoughtful.

Bob Johnson said...

Ruth that bean is too cool, thanks for the link. That Filelen's Basement looks very interesting, unfortunately none up here in Canada. Tim Russert will surely be missed, very excellent journalist, I watch a special on him and his father.

Drowsey Monkey said...

Sounds like a great mini-vacation! :)

My sister loves Chicago, she sent me photos of the bean too. It looks so cool!

http://drowseypics.blogspot.com
/2008/01/chicago-part-2.html

Ruth said...

Laura, I wonder if the artist, Anish Kapoor, envisioned people going nuts with their cameras?

Well it's my turn to be stunned that you copyedited Russert's book and that he called you to thank you. I'm trying to understand the profound impact on me of his passing. I think it's that he had such a passion for what he did, and that really showed. He wasn't just being a 'professional.' He got paid to do what he loved.

~ ~ ~

Bob, you should have seen the sun reflecting in the bean! I'll bet the MOON would be fantastic reflected in it. I think you should make your way there one day! It's not that far? Take the Megabus like my friends (um, does Saskatoon have a Megabus?). On second thought . . . DON'T!

~ ~ ~

Drowsey Dear, it was perfect for Inge and me, but I still feel so bad for our friends from Minnesota on the torture non-express.

Wow, your sister's shots of the bean are AWESOME! Good for her, she got the actual bean shape on sensor, unlike dimwitted me. It is Sooooo cool. And why did you send me over to your pics to get a peek at Paris, huh? Now I'm really having wanderlust for that city, and I had been trying to tell myself that Chicago filled it. Jeez!

:D

Bob Johnson said...

Wow, the Moon would look cool reflecting off it.