The Gates

Yes­ter­day, Pam and I took the Fung Wah bus from Boston to New York to take a look at The Gates, Chris­to and Jeanne-Claude’s instal­la­tion of 7,500 fab­ric-fes­tooned arch­ways along the path­ways of Cen­tral Park. We had a great time, even with the 4 hour ride there and back (although the price was right; $15 each way!). Have a look at all the pho­tos we took at Flickr.

I was struck by how such a sim­ple thing — fab­ric and steel arch­ways — changes the expe­ri­ence of the place. It was no longer a sim­ple walk in the park. Sud­den­ly, it’s as if the whole area were turned into an ant farm, with tun­nels going each and every direc­tion, con­verg­ing, and encir­cling. Add to that, the col­or, which was like an orange shout on the gray Feb­ru­ary land­scape. I wish that I could have sped through them on some sort of scoot­er or bicy­cle, pass­ing through the path­ways at top speed, expe­ri­enc­ing the ever-arriv­ing, ever-leav­ing at 30 or 40 mph. Still, even at a strol­l’s pace, I enjoyed the trip and the instal­la­tion. A pity that it will only be around for such a short time. But then, after it’s gone, the ghost of those gates will prob­a­bly linger a lit­tle while, like the smell of saf­fron after the meal is over and the plates are put into the dish­wash­er.

writ­ten while lis­ten­ing to Brahms — String Quin­tet No. 2 in G Major, Op.111 (arranged for piano, 4 hands)- i. Alle­gro ma non trop­po from the album “Brahms — Four Hand Piano Music, Vol. 12” by Matthies, Kohn, Piano