Floating Through the Canyons of Chicago (Video)

The Chicago “Bean”

Chicago is no longer Carl Sandberg’s “Hog Butcher for the World, Stacker of Wheat” but is still, self-assuredly, “City of the Big Shoulders.” Forget Hong Kong, New York, London…Chicago rules in weight and substance. Its architects — Burnham, Sullivan, Wright, Gehry, dozens of others — gave birth to monuments: to chewing gum (Wrigley), merchants (Sears, Montgomery Wards) who shipped tractors and brassieres to little houses on the prairie, to massive egos (Trump) and architectural movements that swept the world. The skyscraper was invented here.

We are here on opening day of the very first Chicago Architectural Biennial, celebrating ideas from some 100 world architects from Chicago, itself, to Africa and Bali.

This is not just about buildings. This sense of place, the spaces we have created, permeates everyday life: health, housing, education, the environment, economies. It makes us happy, it makes us sad.

We floated up the Chicago River on a boat operated by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, looking up at the towering city from the perspective of the little people we that are. We also strolled through Cloud Gate, aka “The Chicago Bean,” a safe psychedelic experience.


Video by Russell Johnson

The 90 minute Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise departs at least once an hour from beneath the Michigan Avenue Bridge.


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