Above the Bean

TheBeanFromAbove©2009 Alex Garcia

Cloud Gate, or, “The Bean”, as seen from a helicopter. I was in between assignments and couldn’t resist a pass over Millennium Park to see what you could see looking down on it. Hmmm…looks like it could use a little TLC up on top. Not many people realize there is actually an office area inside The Bean. During construction of the sculpture I was ushered into it to photograph some of its inner mechanics. The reflectivity of its shiny surface somewhat disguises its true interior volume…

A Person of Towering Influence

CT Flyover14

©2009 Chicago Tribune/Alex Garcia

In this photoblog’s attempt to help you appear informed and city-wise at any cocktail party, I submit to you the perfect name to be casually dropped in conversation:  Adrian Smith.  His influence at helping make Chicago a great city far outweighs his name recognition. He’s the architect for the renovation of State Street, the basic outlines of Millennium Park, the NBC and AT&T buildings and the soon-to-be-completed Trump International Hotel & Tower, at right. He also designed the plans for the world’s tallest building building in Dubai, which will be the tallest in all four categories in which buildings are measured.  When I met him in his office at left, he had a cornucopia of imaginative models for buildings, which took a while to light to get the right reflection in the tall model at left. The reflection at right came from a much bigger light:-)  Architects like Smith help make the city of Chicago  known not only as the “City of Broad Shoulders” but also the “City of Broad Imaginations”…

Pavilion at Millennium


©2009 Alex Garcia

If you all haven’t been to Millennium Park lately, I strongly suggest making the effort.  From a photographer’s perspective it’s like having a sweet tooth at a candy store, especially at dusk. Of course, sometimes the crush of visitors can be too much. I’m surrounded by them trying to make a picture of a new pavilion at the park and a man comes out of nowhere just as the skyline of Chicago gets projected on the wall of the structure. Then he just stands there and blocks the film.  I’m thinking, argh, tourist!  Then I realize, oh wait, he seems to carry an air of authority. Turns out his name is Thomas Gray and he made the projected film about Daniel Burnham that I’m trying to photograph. He was returning to London the following day and wanted to get his picture taken. Oh…very good, carry on…