I've been doing a lot of research on the city of Chicago lately and I've found a lot of great things that have inspired me in my daily life. Here are my 3 favorites.
Maybe my favorite park/sculpture/interactive piece I've never seen, I've only seen photos and video. Designed by Jaume Plensa, the fountain features a large pool that is bookended by two 50 foot towers. The towers are covered in LEDs that display video of Chicago residents. Water pours from the top of the tower and spews from a cannon that is placed where the mouth of a resident would be. I think all parks should be designed with this much fun creative thoughtfulness.
When I first saw pictures of this I wasn't very impressed. I kept thinking "why are there so many people standing under that thing, did they just riff the movie Flight of the Navigator, is riff even a word?". Then I did some more searching and found some pretty beautiful photos of the reflections on the sculptures surface showing a strange mirror effect on the city skyline. Then I found photos of what everyone is looking at when they are underneath the sculpture. Its like a gigantic, mirrored bellybutton reflecting a world inside a world and if you look close you just might be in there somewhere. Oh ya, it weighs some 100 tons. Why doesn't it tip over? It is beautiful and the surprise is the caramel bellybutton center.
And of course I saved the best for last.
Wilco - Monday live
Based in Chicago, Wilco is as much of a contributor to Chicago's vast inspirational scene as anything. I'm sure this song was created with a fraction of the money that was used to create the Cloud Gate and Crown Fountain. Yet it is executed in fine fashion with its flaws only adding charm. And I bet it has as many or more admirers as any public sculpture.