Chicagoans gotta love the location of this thing, and here’s why. It concentrates all the summer tourists into one easily-avoidable spot. It’s an isolated haven for all of the out-of-towners. I can imagine most visitors see little else of the city as they center their travels around the Loop. They’ll spend a day in Millennium Park taking pictures of their reflections, as if they’ve never seen a mirror
before. A second day might be spent visiting the Sears Tower skydeck (although they refer to it as the “Willis Tower”), maybe a stop at the Field Museum, and dinner at Billy Goat Tavern. Some of the more adventurous ones might, just MIGHT, try to navigate their way up the Redline to see Wrigley Field, but for the most part they don’t wander far from “The Bean” and the rest of us might be able to go the whole summer without seeing a tourist.
Footed by private donors, “The Millennium Park Bean” was supposed to cost only $9 million, but ended up running a bill of $23 million, and made by some fancy-pants art dude from India named Anish Kapoor. To put that number in perspective here’s an excerpt from an article from ABC news a few years back:
“Even though “the Bean” was privately paid for, comparing it’s $23 million cost is stunning:
- It is more than the City of Chicago budget for women’s and children’s health care.
- It is twice the money the city spends on fire prevention.
- Four times the budget for low-income heating bill help.
- Eight times the amount the city spends on it’s plan to end homelessness.
It is also interesting to compare “the Bean” to the Picasso, which used to be Chicago’s most famous public sculpture. The Picasso cost a small fraction of “the Bean,” and there is a distinct difference in the commission paid to the artists, Anish Kapoor who designed “the Bean” and Pablo Picasso who designed the Picasso. Kapoor was paid $700,000. Picasso did the work for free.”
Imagine if the city raised $23 million to dump into the failing Chicago Public School system, or if the money was spent to save some of the city’s much-needed mental health facilities. But hey, at least now we have something big and shiny to attract the tourists instead…
“Cloud Gate”? Seriously, we’re sticking with Cloud Gate as the official name? It’s shaped like a f%$*ing bean! How about we call it “The Bean”? I’d argue that it looks much more like a bean than a gate, but then again, I’m not really a gate expert, but I do walk through them occasionally.
New goal in life:
- Become rich, classy artist.
- Make a GIANT sculpture of a silver banana
- Name it “Puzzles”