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It’s Bean real: Taking on Millennium Park

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Pedestrians visit The Bean at Millennium Park in Chicago. Photo by Saira Ahmed

In the center of Millenium Park sits one of Chicago’s most iconic landmarks, colloquially known as The Bean.

The Bean, formally titled Cloud Gate, is a large and reflective sculpture akin to a rounded mirror. Pedestrians often stop and take selfies, their bodies warping in the structure’s reflection.

While the Medill cherubs program doesn’t have a designated trip to Millenium Park, many students wander there during trips into the city.

For Tomas Moran of Wheaton, Illinois, The Bean is “synonymous with Chicago” and a place necessary to visit during the four-week program. For others, the sculpture even evoked an emotional response.

“When I first saw The Bean, I genuinely teared up,” Dalton Hanna of Los Angeles said.

Of those who have stumbled into Millenium Park, many have found a place they enjoy in the area. One may pass by performances at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion adjacent to The Bean or have lunch at one of the many restaurants and cafes on Randolph Street where the structure resides.

Although Ishaan Tipirneni of Lexington, Massachusetts, thought the structure was “overrated,” spending time with his friends made the location more enjoyable.

“The Bean brings people together,” Tipirneni said.

Lindsey Steel of Los Altos, California, has yet to see The Bean and hopes for a chance to before the program comes to a close.

“It’s just such an interesting structure, especially the reflective surface,” she said. “It is something that you don’t see anywhere else.”

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