Yesterday, I felt like doing some reflecting. And not in a deep-thoughts-about-life kind of way. I spent at least an hour checking out my reflection with my dear friend Ri, who's visiting from New York. She's a Chicago virgin, so I spent the day introducing her to the finest attractions, including Cloud Gate, aka "The Bean." Built in 2006 by British artist Anish Kapoor and inspired by the shape of liquid mercury, the sculpture is made up of 168 stainless steel plates wielded together and polished until they appear seamless. The structure—which is washed twice a year in 40 gallons of liquid Tide (!)—was designed and built in California. It was then taken apart and shipped to Chicago to be reassembled. Not only does the surface reflect the city skyline, its elliptical shape creates a fun-house mirror effect.
So on a perfect fall day, what did we see? A whole lotta people checking themselves out. Folks got down and dirty, lying down on the ground, contorting their bodies against the metal. Kids made faces, couples kissed, girls fixed their hair, families posed for group photos. We even spotted a quinceañera! Let's just say it was a major self-love fest.