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  • Betty Girardeau

Some Other Things That I Love


Some of you may already know these things about me, but for those of you who don't, I will share that two other things that I really love to do are to travel and to test my knowledge about trivia. Despite the fact that these days my travel experience is pretty much limited to going to my local grocery store and back and social distancing limits much game playing, I have a daily "fix" for these two passions thanks to the Travel Channel daily Sweepstakes contest that arrives each morning in my email. I explained to my granddaughter when she was visiting that I was almost 100% certain that I would never be the one to win the coveted $10,000 prize, but that I made a point of entering every day because I enjoyed the questions and learning more about places I have already been or ones I would like to go. The theme for the daily questions this summer have tended to be about places and things to do that you might consider for a summer vacation, many of them being about hiking trails or national and state parks. The question posed typically focuses on some specific aspect of one of the four places listed from which to chose your answer. And, thankfully, there is a link you can click that will provide you with a hint for the answer. Clicking on this link, you are taken to a gallery of pictures and descriptions about various places, including all four of the possible locations for your answer. I like to guess what answer I think will be correct, and then go through the gallery and read about all the places featured in order to verify or find the answer. A few days ago the question dealt with parks that have interactive features. I don't remember what was the exact question or the answer, but I was happy that one of the parks in the gallery was Millennium Park in Chicago and specifically the Crown Fountain. In the spring of 2016 I attended a photography workshop in Chicago and the first location for a shoot was this park. Most of our time we spent taking pictures of the Bean sculpture and the people with whom we were sharing the park that evening. But the Crown Fountain cannot be ignored, not only because of its size, but even more so because of the two 50-foot glass brick towers that use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to display digital videos that reflect in the pool between the towers. I was fascinated by the frequently changing face videos, but I did not know until reading about this fountain while looking for the answer to the trivia question of the day, that the faces displayed are those of local ordinary Chicagoans. The fountain was designed by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, who was inspired by the traditional use of gargoyles in fountains, where faces of mythological beings were sculpted with open mouths to allow water, a symbol of life, to flow out. As soon as I finished entering the sweepstakes I went back to look at my pictures of the fountain. The one I am sharing today I really like despite the fact that I did not take it at the time the man in the video was spitting out water. But it does show the reflection nicely as well as the water that constantly flows down the sides of the towers. It was fun to briefly revisit a place that I had really enjoyed as well as learn something else about it. And I had forgotten about this image and how much I like it.

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