Since I usually stay in a hotel in The Loop when I visit Chicago, my typical approach to Millenium Park is from the west. I walk east on Madison or another of the streets perpendicular to the lake and wait patiently for a pedestrian light to give me permission to cross Michigan Avenue–a somewhat perilous experience most days.
If I want to get all the way to Maggie Daley Park, usually worth the effort, I make my way to the BP Pedestrian Bridge over Columbus Dr., after an obligatory pause at Cloud Gate for the quintessential Chicago selfie in the polished surface of “The Bean,” Cloud Gate’s far more common name.
South Columbus Drive is even more hazardous to cross on foot than Michigan Ave. In fact, I’m not sure it’s even allowed. In any case, thankfully, Chicago has provided a most wonderful architectural treasure, namely the BP Pedestrian Bridge designed by Frank Gehry.
But the last time I was in Chicago, in November 2018, I was roaming The Loop shooting with Adam Dooley, one of my Chicago photog friends. I would be hard-pressed to retrace our path that day on a map! So I have no idea how we ended up entering Maggie Daley Park from the northeast, but we did.
And as we angled southwest in the general direction of my hotel and the train station Adam would use to get home, we approached the BP Pedestrian Bridge from the east-northeast, almost due opposite of my usual approach.
And I was stopped in my tracks. Because approaching from that direction, we were coming to it from slightly uphill, and as I looked down, the foot bridge lay out before me like a giant silver serpent in the grass.
I could not actually capture photographically what I “saw” that day. I needed a 6-foot ladder to get high enough to make the image in my mind. But this is pretty close. Can you see it?