The waterfalls look like … well … waterfalls!
With great fanfare on Thursday morning, artist Olafur Eliasson and Mayor Bloomberg turned the taps on four man-made mist-makers along the East River.
“It looks really impressive from up here,” a relieved Eliasson said of his $15-million project — $13 million of which was raised from private sources.
“This is not my work of art anymore,” he said. “This piece of art is now part of the city, it belongs to people in the city.”
The four waterfalls — one under the Brooklyn tower of the Brooklyn Bridge, one off the north shore of Governors Island, one between Pier 4 and 5 along Furman Street in Brooklyn Heights, and one off the coast of Manhattan’s Lower East Side — range in height from 90 to 120 feet and vary in width.
The only place in Brooklyn to see all four waterfalls is from the temporary park at Pier 1, located just to the south of the Fulton Ferry Landing in DUMBO.
At the unveiling, Bloomberg said the waterfalls are designed to get people outside and to connect them with nature. Eliasson said he loves water because it “has this fantastic ability to be everything to everybody.”
Pier 1 opened on Thursday and already DUMBO residents were enjoying the views.
“I think most people who live in Brooklyn and Manhattan forget there’s water, but I think of it as one of the most attractive parts about living here,” said Todd Glass, who has lived nearby for six years and brought his two young sons to the park. “[The waterfalls] draw people to the water.”
That’s what small business owners like Peter Lawrence, who co-owns the DUMBO restaurant Rice, like most about the project.
“I think [the waterfalls] are a great thing — there’s not too many other cities in the world that will spend however many millions of dollars on a big art project to bring people to the city,” Lawrence said. “It certainly helps small businesses like me, and it’s nice to be a part of showing off what’s down here.”
“New York City Waterfalls” operate from 7 am to 10 pm each day (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 am to 10 pm). They are best viewed from the temporary park on Furman Street, just south of Old Fulton Street in Brooklyn Heights. Call 311 or visit www.nycwaterfalls.org for information.
©2008 Community News Group
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