Thursday, February 12, 2015

Crime Drought!

At 12:01 AM today New York City achieved a new milestone -- ten days without a single murder. Ten days ... and no one was intentionally killed. That's amazing. Historic.

Congratulations to the people of NYC for not killing each other. And congratulations to Mayor De Blasio for keeping our city safe.

Of course, I'm sure that Republicans, the NYC tabloid press, and other assorted haters are seriously depressed. After all, when De Blasio was elected they were shouting that NYC would soon spiral into a cauldron of murder and mayhem, a pit of hell of death. Instead ... crime has never been lower. And now this.

Sorry GOP and De Blasio haters  --  your worst fears are being realized. De Blasio is a good, competent mayor and the city is safer than never. You lose. And everyone else wins.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Gates @ 10

Ten years ago one of the most fascinating art exhibits in NYC history debuted in Central Park. It was called simply the Gates. Created by the eccentric artists Christo and Jean-Claud, at over  twenty-five years in the making, the Gates unfurled for the public on February 12th, 2005.

The Gates was a massive sprawl of Japanese inspired "torrii gates", made out of saffron-colored nylon fabric, which covered the entire expanse of Central Park from 59th to 110th Streets. (Torrii gates appear at Japanese Shinto shrines and are symbolic portals between the physical and spirit worlds). For the last two weeks of February 2005, this public art exhibit transformed Central Park, pulled in over 4 million visitors, and generated over $250 million in revenue for NYC. It made the Central Park of our loving collective conscience into something different, something exquisite -- like looking at your child dressed up in a beautiful custom.

It was an amazing sight to behold.

Walking through the Gates, as I did one chilly Sunday afternoon with my mother, was a wonderful experience. Having walked through Central Park many times in my life (and many times with my mom), strolling through the Gates with her felt like we were walking in the park again for the first time. And, of course, we were not alone -- many other people were also milling around us, amazed by the splendor of the exhibit. And that's what was so incredible about the Gates -- it made you look at something you had seen before many times but differently, it created a unique experience, and it brought you closer to the people you were sharing the experience with. It was very special. 

And then ... it was gone ...

Obviously, the Gates was meant to be temporary. By the end of February 2005, they had vanished, never to return. And that was part of the experience of the Gates: its very nature was ephemeral. It wasn't meant to last. The Gates was meant to be an experience, a mom
ent in time to remembered and cherished. And now, ten years later, it still is.

P.S. There was a live blog of the Gates back in 2005 that is still, thankfully, available to peruse. It's a wonderful real time like at this amazing, once in a lifetime exhibit. 

P.S.S. The pictures of the Gates that you see here were taken by a family member of mine back in 2005 and are exclusive for Mr NYC readers.