Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Millennium Park.... Mayor Daley's Max Yasgur's Farm

photo by Dugan

 "I see the pirate ship!" the kids excitedly exclaim, every time the top of the Pritzker Pavilion comes into view, as we walk East from the blue line trains.   The curving lines of metal, designed by Frank Gehry, do conjure images of billowing sails.  

The kids are especially jazzed about the pavilion right now, as their excellent art teacher has the 1st-3rd graders studying the works of Frank Gehry and designing their own architecture.   Not all big city public schools are cesspools of ignorance.

Millennium Park may have been over budget and behind schedule, but love it or hate it, the park is here to stay.   We fall firmly in the love it camp.   It's a world class showcase for an eclectic array of Chicago entertainment.   It's easily accessible by public transit.  It's frequented by tourists and flocks of locals as well.  And best of's free.

A few weeks ago, we were watching Chicago rock band, Red Red Meat, with Sam Greenberg, owner of the Dr. Wax music stores, and his wife.   Sam laughingly called Millennium Park, Max Yasgur's Farm for Daley.   He's right on the mark.   It's a big, open space where the masses can gather to eat, drink and hear excellent, free music together.   And 40 years after Woodstock, the flower children may have grandchildren, but people still love a good outdoor show.

Earlier this summer, in "Gehry's pirate ship", We thoroughly enjoyed SHELabration, A tribute to Shel Silverstein.   It was an amazing event with numerous readings, including of one of his unpublished poems, and a number of his songs.   Here's a Snapfish link of the fun.
The evening began in an especially farm like way, with a corn maze, right in the heart of Chicago!

We were there with Meenakshe, our 10 year old friend, whom we've known since before her birth.   She's now living in Taiwan with her parents who are both teachers, 1 year into a 3 year teaching stint.   We were also with several Chicago Hip Families including vegan activists, Marla and John, and their son, Justice.   And our amazing friend, Amanda, who has one of the hardest jobs of anyone I know, with 5 children ranging from toddlers to teens.

Dugan (age 8) took these 4 photos himself along with most of the ones on this 2nd Snapfish album of SHELabration:

Peace. love and music at Mayor Daley's Max Yasgur's Farm 

Even as the summer concert season winds down, there are still a few big acts left for Gehry's Pirate Ship.   We plan to see Stars of Lyric Opera on Friday, September 11th and The Joffrey Ballet on Thursday, September 17th.   Check the Millennium Park website for the latest happenings. 

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