The Punk Vault

A tourist in my own city

Friday before I went to see the MDC show, I spent a little time with my family and did a little tourist activity in my own city of Chicago. My cousin picked me up and we met my sister who was in town, and my other cousin for lunch at a pizza place and then went back downtown to see the Palmer House hotel where my sister was staying and to check out Millennium Park.

Millennium Park was a place I was aware of, but never bothered to check out simply because driving and parking around the Loop is a royal pain in the ass (not to mention expensive). My sister wanted to see the place and since we were there and actually found a spot to park (with super expensive meter rates of a quarter for a mere 5 minutes), we took a walk over there. The place is very clean, you can tell the city invests a fair amount of money for maintenance since the park is their latest gimmick. When we waked in, the first thing you see is these two giant towers that have water pouring off of. They look somewhat menacing yet they were also cool and the water hits the ground and is somehow contained in the area between the towers.

The tower

The towers on the sides that face each other have video images of different peoples faces. The faces make some different expressions and look around, it is almost creepy looking at times. The faces will change between different races and genders if you were to sit there for a long period of time. After a bit of time passes, the face changes and then the thing spits out water into the center.

The tower spitting water

After watching this for a bit, we went deeper inside the park and saw what the park is perhaps the most famous for, “the bean”. This is a reflective structure and if you look at it from different angles, you see different parts of the city skyline being reflected off of it. You also see all the people around you as well as yourself being reflected off of it as well.

The bean

You can walk underneath the bean too and if you look up, you get some weird and interesting different reflections. I could see myself in like a half dozen places at once in there.

The bean inside

Aside from that there was a garden area full of different trees and plants, some water and there was a bandshell area that had seats, and then a lawn area. It was like a smaller Tweeter Center, but cleaner and they had speakers everywhere so I’d assume you could hear the show a lot better than at the Tweeter Center even if you were all the way back in the lawn. My one cousin told me that a few weeks ago, REO Speedwagon played there. That would have been quite a site to see I’m sure. Above the bandshell area was some cool metal structures and if you looked up a little higher, you got a cool glimpse of the city skyline.

The top of the bandshell

I don’t recall what used to be in the spot where this park is located as I never spent much time in that part of downtown, but the park itself is pretty neat and would be a nice place to eat your lunch outside on a nice day. They, of course, had vendors set up selling “souvenirs” such as coffee mugs, etc. which were of zero interest to me. If you find yourself in the area, its not a bad way to kill some time, not to mention it is free which is the most important form of entertainment for me these days!


  • There used to be a railyard where the park is now. Apparently, Mayor Daley’s dentist has/had an office that overlooked the originally blighted area and asked Daley to do something about it….and Millenium Park was born.

  • I just moved back to Illinois in May and I still haven’t checked out the new shit in the Loop…It’s like I only ever went to the Sears tower if it was a school field trip, so I never really think about going to see all the new things that pop up.

  • Sarah,

    I have lived here my entire life and have only been to the sears tower twice and the first time wasn’t until I was like 20. I’ve still never been up to the handcock building and there’s other things around the city I never see either. I’m always up for checking shit out around the city (and now taking pix too) if you ever want some company. One can never have too many friends.


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