A Year In New York

A Daily Bite of the Big Apple

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Day 27: Nothing to Gush About

July 23rd · 4 Comments

This afternoon I went to check out Olafur Eliasson’s “New York City Waterfalls.” They have the art critics as excited as kids dancing around a Harlem fire hydrant, but frankly they just made me homesick for the real thing.

All four of the installations can be seen from the tip of Pier 17. I stood against the railing amid a dribble of Italian, Spanish and Japanese tourists who tried to smile for the camera despite the grim, gray sky.

The waterfalls, which the Danish artist assembled from scaffolding and pumps just like an apartment building, dot the East River waterfront from Pier 35 to Governor’s Island, with a cascade off the Brooklyn Bridge (pictured) as the centerpiece. The falls’ tails blew northward with every gust of wind, and the yellow water taxis circled.

I don’t blame Eliasson, since it would take a god to wow a Yosemite Valley devotee like me. California receives much less water than New York but it falls in the most beguiling way. As from the end of Pier 17, you can see four or so waterfalls from the Valley floor. Torrents leap off the granite lip thousands of feet above, cascading and billowing down, every instant as singular as a snowflake. Match that, Denmark guy.

No, I felt for the old man with a grizzled face, shirttails askew, who posed for a photo against the paint-chipped rail. His tired expression never changed as his old, fat friend took a picture, as if he were flaunting how thoroughly unimpressed he was.

Tags: East Coast v. West Coast · Museums & Art · Sights & Scenes · Why I Hate This Town

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Melissa Griffiths // Jul 23, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    You’re there already! Are you doing any work or just swanning around?!

    Great job on making the move, now all you have to do is offer up your sofa to wandering travellers ….

  • 2 RizzoJ // Jul 24, 2008 at 2:28 am

    Mmm-hmm… Bring it, Denmark guy. haha 😛

  • 3 sam iam // Jul 24, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    those damned uppity danes…i don’t see what’s so great about them…

  • 4 Sulley // Jul 24, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    I feel like I’m being water-boarded just looking at it.

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