Saturday, March 12, 2005

"The Gates" -- Gone but not Forgotten

Christo and Jeanne-Claude's "The Gates" an installation that was in the works for two decades, and which captivated New York City for a mere sixteen-day stay is now history. As I write these words, the last of the 7, 500-plus gates still left in Central Park are being dismantled, according to the wishes of the artists, and nothing of the exhibit will remain for posterity. All will disappear except for thousands of swatches of saffron-colored cloth, millions of pictures, miles of film and videotape, and the lingering memory of the structures, forever preserved in the minds of people from around the world who came to New York City to experience this event.

According to the Pricewaterhouse Coopers Hospitality & Leisure practice, "The Gates" contributed to record February hotel occupancy in New York City during the last two weeks of the month. Occupancy averaged 84.2 percent during the weeks that the Christo and Jeanne-Claude project was in place, compared to an average of 71 percent for the preceding six weeks. The project brought an additional $26 million to New York City, and that is good for the city.

I visited "The Gates" four times. Twice on my own, and twice with friends. On three of those occasions I had my Nikon D-70 with me, and during my visits I took over 100 photographs of Central Park and the installation. There was snow on the ground during my second and third visits. That definitely added to the visual terrain of the park. "The Gates" photographed nicely against the snow, I think.

If you click here, you can see sixteen of those photographs, one for every day that "The Gates" were on public view. I hope that you enjoy these pictures.

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