On a brutally hot day, the Crown Fountain brought relief. Not for us, of course, because I wasn't aware of the opportunity to soak myself, so I was in shorts and a shirt and socks and sneakers. No bathing suit or flip-flops for me. So I got close enough for the mist off the water to feel good and trained my camera on the scores of families taking full advantage of the cascading -- and spouting -- water coming from the two towers at either end of the plaza.
The public refreshment is an updated -- and architectually noteworthy -- take on the mid-century summer cool-down ritual based around the fire hydrant on the block. The kids come out to play together, to have good, wholesome summer fun in the middle of the city, their parents happy to let them run around and burn off energy, the children thrilled to cool off on a blistering afternoon. To be honest, I was a little disappointed that I wasn't better prepared, and I even contemplated various scenarios in my mind in which we could go back to the hotel, change, enjoy the fountain and still knock off the rest of our agenda that afternoon. But we'd gotten too late a start and the Garfield Park Conservatory was only open so late, so it didn't happen. Next time, though.