Brooklyn Public Library


The Waterfalls Are All Wet

Aug 22, 2008 10:32 AM | 1 comment

Have you seen the waterfalls yet? They’ve been stopping traffic for almost three months now, so you probably have. 


Do they bring to mind “the Cyclone of Coney Island and those towers from which daredevil riders and their hapless steeds used to jump, or to old Times Square with its ambitious billboards”? (The New York Times Art Review, June 27, 2008)


I must confess that something else comes to my mind: wet scaffolding. And The Brooklyn Paper reports that mist from Olafur Eliasson’s creation is killing trees at the River Café. (The trees are expected to recover, but not until the pumps are shut off in the fall.)


Still, do you think these majestic edifices are worth the $15 million price tag? Do they inspire and “embiggen” the smallest man? The New Yorkers on Yelp and The Brooklyn Paper’s Vox Pop certainly don’t think so.


But instead of being a humbug, I’ll recommend some waterfront art that’s not all wet. Through the end of August, Central Library is host to two photographic exhibits, Randy Duchaine’s New York Waters: Profiles from the Edge, featuring portraits from the world of waterfront trade; and Nathan Kensinger’s Twilight on the Waterfront: Brooklyn's Vanishing Industrial Heritage, documenting Brooklyn’s changing waterfront over the past five years.


Deadly mist not included.



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8/22/2008 12:28:02 PM #

How on earth is water killing the trees? Is there something deadly in the water, or are they just being over-watered, like houseplants? What a bummer.

Even though the waterfalls are expensive and the scaffolding is ugly, I do like them. Especially from the subway on the Manhattan Bridge, where they appear as if distant mirages, evoking nature and mountains and rivers that are long gone.