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Published: January 21st 2017
Water fountain in Millennium Park
On hot summer days children like to play in this water fountain in Millennium Park
The 44th and the 45th President of the United States in the same blog
After we came home from our vacation in the US last summer life has been hectic and we haven't had time to write much on the blog. But here it comes, much belated, the fourth and last entry from the trip. Here we will tell you what we did the last two days of the trip when we were in Chicago.
The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, studied and worked his way to the power in Chicago. When we took a walk in his old neighbourhood we visited a few Obama related sites.
• We saw the house the Obama family lived in before they made the White House in Washington DC their home. Well, we couldn't see much of the house to be honest because there were big trees obscuring the view. We are pretty sure that those trees were there mainly for security reasons to prevent insight.
• We visited the barber shop where Barack Obama used to have his hair cut. The barber chair he used to sit in is on display and
A large sculpture cum terrestrial globe
is not in use anymore. Unless when Barack shows up for a haircut we presume. Yes, it is silly to have a look at a barber chair Barack Obama has been sitting in but it was also fun.
• We also visited a Baskin-Robbins restaurant where Barack and Michelle Obama went on their first date. Just outside there is a stone marking the spot where they kissed each other for the first time. And you thought seeing Barack's barber chair was silly, huh? The spot where the Obama's kissed each other is a previously totally unknown level of silliness for this blog. Again, silly but fun...
Chicago is a city with a lot of skyscrapers. There are high skyscrapers, there are spectacular skyscrapers and there are even plenty skyscrapers that are cool. But sorry Chicago, you can't match New York there. New York is the undisputed world champion when it comes to skyscrapers.
In central Chicago there is a large park named Millennium Park. The most well known art installation in Millennium Park is called Cloud Gate and is a large steel sculpture shaped like a bean. The surface is highly reflective and
In central Chicago there is a large park named Millennium Park. The most well known art installation in Millennium Park is called Cloud Gate
works like a large mirror in which you can see for instance the buildings surrounding the park. Since the shape is irregular the reflection becomes very interesting when viewed from certain angles. The photo we took when standing under it is only strange though.
A scientific milestone was achieved at the University of Chicago on December 2 1942 when the first ever manmade nuclear reactor reached a self-sustaining nuclear reaction. The reactor was called Chicago Pile-1 and first stood under a stand in a sports arena in central Chicago. Later the reactor was dismantled and moved to a more isolated spot in what today is Red Gates Woods, a recreation area and forest reserve in the outskirts of Chicago. We both visited the original site of Chicago Pile-1, which is marked with a sculpture and a plaque. Another day when Emma was shopping at an outlet outside Chicago Ake also visited Red Gates Woods. In Red Gates Woods it was surprisingly hard to find directions and information. There are two sites there of historical importance, Site A and Plot M. Site A was the place where the reactor stood and Plot M is where they buried the
Cloud Gate is a steel sculpture shaped like a large bean
remains of the reactor after they closed down operations at Site A and dismantled the reactor. Site A and Plot M are located only about 300 meters apart. But the available maps outside the forest for some reason held no information about these historical sites. Ake did bring some printouts from Internet and managed to locate Site A. There were information plaques put up there but no mention was made of the Plot M which he was never able to find. Next time we go to Chicago finding Plot M will be a mission.
Chicago Pile-1 was part of the Manhattan project which had the purpose of developing an atomic bomb. They succeeded and in August 1945 atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities Hiroshima
and Nagasaki causing hitherto unknown levels of destruction.
Speaking about destructive forces, the person who is the 45th President of the United States has also managed to sneak himself into this blog entry. There is a building in Chicago named after him and it can been seen in one of the photos.
This is all from us for this time. Thanks for reading it
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