joy magnetism: The city, some flags and some water, too

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

The city, some flags and some water, too

Magnet #197 - The Gates

This magnet takes us back home to NYC, bringing the musical ambassadors magnetpost miniseries to an end.

Long trip. Long ago. Whoa. This magnet is exactly 15 years after the trip. Excuse me, I need to go find my cane.

So. The Gates. This is quite apropos, because this public art project was set in Central Park 3 years ago, and currently, we have another public art project set along the East River.

The Gates: 7,500 gates (free-hanging, saffron-colored fabric panels, reaching about to 7 feet above the ground), 16 feet high, with a width varying from 5 to 18 feet, stationed about 12 feet apart, lining 23 miles of footpaths in the Central Park. Estimated cost: $21 million, cost borne by the artists, Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

The NYC Waterfalls: 4 waterfalls cascading from heights of 90 to 120 feet, dotting the East River from under the Brooklyn Bridge, just above the Manhattan Bridge, at the Brooklyn Piers, and on Governors Island. Estimated cost: $15 million, privately donated. Artist: Olafur Eliasson.

I loved the Gates. Loved. It was weird and silly, if you think about it. Really, someone took the time to construct 7,500 gates, when we could have saved the world? But, take a look at the pictures - it was just gorgeous. The sheer size of the installation was truly amazing, and so much fun to walk through! Of course, I had a friend who teased me about how we spent millions for a bunch of flags in a park.

Cut to three years later, and the Waterfalls. I know they're expecting something like $55 million in tourist dollars from it. And, I will admit to not having seen them lit up at night, or from the water vantage. But, I have to say that every time I've seen them (at the Brooklyn Promenade, or on the pier below Brooklyn Bridge, or driving down the FDR), I've been seriously underwhelmed. I know it's supposed to be pretty, and that it's recycling the water from the river and not hurting the environment in any way, but really, you can see the scaffolding behind the falls, which just dispenses of the magic of a waterfall, and calls attention to how sad the waterflow is.

Nevertheless, like a good New Yorker, I recommend going to see them and I parade visitors around them, too. Although, I may have deterred that one friend from making a special visit to see them. I mean, if he made fun of my flags, how's he gonna like my waterdrops.
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1 comment:

joy said...

Yes, my friend, you did. Just before heading in a cab uptown to go see them. :-)

And, no, my next trip is London, just before Christmas.

The last several magnetposts were about a band trip I took in high school. I had found the Ede (Netherlands) magnet the last time I was at home, and I wanted to blog about it. Then I realized that I could pretty much do a magnet for every country on the trip.

Plus, it's been fun to see how much of it I remember, and to see how much my experiences matched or varied from others who took the same trip.

Here's where the trip starts: