I have been waiting to catch up with Sam, an Episcopalian priest friend, and we decide on lunch in the large department store in the centre of town – Macys – on the fifth floor in a restaurant called The Walnut Room! It is good to chat about the sabbatical, church life, ministry and its ups and downs and a whole assortment of other topics. He is a sane and seasoned mentor and I like his approach to life. He points me in the direction of must do things in the city and I get a flavour of the speed and diversity of this place. Much of the energy of the place some from a huge number of students. But like any city there are contractions and an underclass of poor that always disturbs me. The contrast across the classes is very significant. And it can only but breed discontent. Surely it is a mark of any civilised society to want to respond to poverty?
I take the opportunity to visit Millennium Park which is a great creation : these pictures give you some idea of the scale of things…
The public space was created out of railway lines and car parking space to celebrate art, architecture and landscape design. You might remember its opening in 2004 – it is all designed to be free including music and other open air entertainment. Covering nearly 25 acres the Mayor gathered together funding from across the public/private sectors to support this very ambitious dream. These picture adjacent shows the Jay Pritzker Pavilion where the Orchestra and Chorus play to entertain all without any entrance fee. If you look closely the speakers tucked into the arches give wrap around sound.
I will return here and say more about the famous Cloud Gate in another post. Today I am thankful for friends and especially those who listen. And I am resloved to get more involved in advocacy for art and public art. Every public authority should be committed to giving and sharing art and music for the people. And that includes the Governors of the Foundation of Lady Katherine Leveson!