Chicago's Millennium Park is where political muscle meets people-friendly landscaping.
Devil-may-care romance? No, just another overzealous gardener bound and determined to take in a landscaping landmark before the weekend vacation came to a thudding halt.
Our idea that Sunday morning was to take in Millennium Park before the six-hour drive home back to Madison County, Iowa
It was worth the dowsing.
But first, before discussing that, a historical sidelight: The Windy City did not get its famous nickname because of the breeze.
You see, Chicago is no windier than most places, certainly less so than where I live. It was first called the Windy City because of the bloviage of city politicians. And Chicago is, first and foremost, a political city. I don’t think Rahm Emanuel was so much elected mayor as he was appointed.
And Millennium Park, now the city’s No. 2 tourist destination (after the garish Navy Pier), is pretty much the result of city politics. What was supposed to be a $150 million project to turn railroad yards and parking lots into green space became a much-delayed $475 million project. Private donors did end up contributing more than $200 million, but still …
Highlights for me: The Frank Gehry-designed Pritzker Pavillion [see photo above]; Anish Kapoor’s 100-ton Cloud Gate (referred to locally as “the bean”), certainly the largest gazing globe I’ve ever encountered; and Piet Oudolf and cohorts’ 2.5 acre Lurie Garden.
Highlight for my wife: Getting into some dry clothes afterward.
What else I’m into this week: Painting the house, repairing the fence and gates and splitting wood. Which is to say, hunkering down for winter.
Craig Summers Black, the Transplanted Gardener, is an award-winning garden writer and photographer who blogs regularly at Diggin' it. You can read more of what he's written by clicking here. You may also follow Craig’s further adventures in gardening, music, and rural life on Twitter.