A glorious front yard for the city, Grant Park itself is working hard to measure up to its neighbors—the lakefront and the museums—and its residents—the music festivals, the fireworks, the free orchestra, the outdoor movies. Not to mention the never-ending postcard of our Versailles-inspired Buckingham Fountain and its light shows, late-night lovers and glow-light peddlers. Millennium Park may be the boondoggle of a generation, but here’s a suggestion that history will be kind to this ambitious civic space once the cranes and ribbon-cutters have stepped aside. Meanwhile, take a stroll through the gardens and admire the landscaping and flowers that have been carefully nurtured these recent years. Then sit on a bench and watch the sailboats, the sea gulls or simply the waves and get gloriously swept away.
Best of Chicago 2002