Friday, July 18, 2008

Art, You Be The Judge

As you can see, Lacie is still acting up. A friend of mine who really knows his stuff spent about four hours yesterday trying to recover my data but couldn't do it. He took Lacie away with him and I haven't heard anything since. I hope they haven't fallen in love.

Sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or cry when it comes to New York spending big bucks ($15.5 million in this case) for "artistic installations." This time it is the four "waterfalls" installed along the East River and on Governor's Island.

An Artistic Installation

Okay now, at $15.5 million for four this one cost almost $4 million. I find that to be seriously humorous. Well, it would be if it wasn't being paid for by the city.

Note - several readers have informed me, and I have verified this to be true, that the waterfalls were paid for by private contributors, not the city.

For some reason, however, that reminds me of the words of Bob Dylan in Ballad Of A Thin Man:

You have many contacts
Among the lumberjacks
To get you facts
When someone attacks your imagination
But nobody has any respect
Anyway they already expect you
To just give a check
To tax-deductible charity organizations

Bar Man hates it when he is wrong, but admits it when he is.

I suppose the fact that it was conceived by Olafur Eliasson, a Danish-Icelandic artist makes these, I don't know, art. When the water was turned on there was a media blitz promoting these as the biggest thing to hit New York since Christo and Jeanne-Claude put up saffron-colored fabric panels in Central Park for “The Gates” in 2005.

Hey, with no other problems to deal with I guess it was a good use of
Mayor Bloomberg's time to appear on four morning television programs to tout the installation. Supposedly these are a “symbol of the energy and vitality that we have been bringing back to our waterfront in all five boroughs.

To me they just look like more construction work along what is still a largely industrial looking waterfront.

You Be The Judge

I guess they might look marginally better if you are actually on the East River, but I doubt if too many people are going to spend the money for a boat ride just to see these. Somehow Mayor Bloomberg thinks they will generate and additional $55 million in revenue for the city due to increased tourism. All I can say is if this is the tipping point for someone deciding whether or not to come to New York this summer I suggest they have their head examined. Well, unless they are Danish or Icelandic.

I think there is much better art on the walls of Brooklyn. This one is kind of a mind bender, in it's own way.

Find The BLACK Arrow

True New York Art

My favorite "Waterfall Installation" is this one not far from where I live.

The Coolest Park Bench In Town

After touring the "Waterfalls" I had worked up both a thirst and an appetite. Pete's Waterfront Ale House seemed to be keeping with the theme.

The Offerings Of The Day

Having actually seen the green flash in Mexico a couple of times, I couldn't pass up the Green Flash IPA that they had in a cask.

A Green Flashback

It was quite good. Hoppy, of course, but not overpowering. I am still undecided about cask IPAs because I think they should be served a bit colder, but they are starting to grow on me.

As I have mentioned before, the food at Pete's is always good and the specials are, indeed, special. This day was no exception. How could you pass on the Beef Cheek Stew with Corn Bread.

Simply Delicious

The stew was great. Beef cheeks are great for a stew because they stay nice and moist and are very flavorful, kind of like short ribs. The corn bread was excellent and was a great counterpoint to the richness of the stew.

I can't remember what the Mysterious Chinese Woman had, but I know she enjoyed it mightily.

Yum, Yum, Yum (an inside joke)

Oh, and I am floating a proposal for my own "Waterfalls" installation. It will be a wee bit smaller, much cheaper, but prettier, in my opinion.

Miniature Waterfall


reunionpi said...

New York Mayor Bloomberg's companies allowed numerous tax warrants, tax liens, Department of Labor judgments to occur that are scattered across the country from California to New York

Eric M. said...

I'm really not sure how I feel about the waterfalls. I happened to see them from Ellis Island last week, and they were nice looking...but I'm not exactly blown away by them.

Also, I'm pretty sure they were paid for with private funds instead of tax dollars...probably because they need our money to fund the two new baseball stadiums.