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.

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Venice, California: The Other Disneyland

Muscle Beach, Venice, California (c)2015 Russell Johnson

OK, it doesn’t have a white-gloved falsetto mouse in a diaper and it is not as antiseptically acceptable but Venice Beach, in Los Angeles, does have adventures and cartoon-like characters that rival those of Disneyland…unless you are a six year old.

And it is free.

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The Kiss 2015

Photo: © Russell Johnson

Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra painted this tribute to Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous The Kiss photograph, which celebrated the ending of World War II. Eisenstaedt shot the original in New York’s Times Square. Kobra’s mural is visible from the Highline on 25th Street and 10th Avenue.

Catching up with the Woman in Gold

Adele Bloch-Bauer I or Woman in Gold by Gustav Klimt, 1907

I have been chasing a woman around the world and finally met her in New York. But the beautiful Adele Bloch-Bauer, popularized in the movie, “Woman in Gold” starring Helen Mirren, was now gazing at me as I gazed at her in her portrait in the Neue Galerie in New York City.

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