Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Waterfalls Of New York

There's a strange thing happening in New York City.

Four moderately large waterfalls are flowing along the East River - moderately large, when compared to normal waterfalls that one might encounter on a hike in the jungle. But I guess the new NYC falls are downright huge compared to the typical waterfall normally seen in the city; i.e., an overflowing sewer spewing murky water over a pile of old sneakers and into a large pothole.

That type of scenario can produce a vertical drop of over 8 inches. But these new waterfalls are as high as 120 feet.

Don't believe me? Check out the photos below. Jaimi took them. With a camera.

We went down to the Brooklyn Bridge today to check out one of these local falls, which is coincidentally, the largest of the four.

You're still probably wondering what this is all about. A celebration of the Giants Super Bowl win? An elaborate alien landing beacon? The result of Mayor Bloomberg's intense rivalry with the mayor of Niagara Falls, NY?

The answer, I'm afraid, is none of the above.

Rather, a Danish madman/artist named Olafur Eliasson, in cooperation with the Public Art Fund of New York has constructed the waterfalls for the delight of visitors and locals alike. And when I say for visitors and locals alike, of course I mean almost entirely for tourists - and their money.

My opinion? The waterfalls are kinda neat - at least the one under the Brooklyn Bridge, as we didn't bother to see the other three. But I would not travel anywhere out of my area code (shout out to the 917 - holla) to visit this attraction.

As you can see from the pictures, the set up is nothing more than some scaffolding with a whole bunch of water pouring from the top. The volume of moving water is impressive, and it was probably no small task to set the thing up. But it is, in the end, a little too simple for my tastes.

Build me a mini mountain, complete with mini trees and mini wild elk stalked by mini jungle cats, or something. Then have the waterfall flow right through the middle of all that phony, mini nature stuff.

Or, if you want to get a little abstract, carve a mountain-like shape out of a single, massive ingot of aluminum. Scatter a million or so LED's across the aluminum mountain's facade, turn the spigot and let that water fall! A real tourist attraction.

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1 comment:

Dennis said...

haha...when I was reading one of your last paragraphs, I thought all the 'mini' references was going to somehow turn into mini-golf! :)