Sunday at The Gates

(It seems appropriate to enter this in Christo and Jeanne-Claude "saffron"–the color of the moment.)

We spent all day yesterday at The Gates in Central Park. Apparently, others had the same idea. As we later found out, the crowd was estimated to be 700,000.

Many wore orange (or were they saffron?) scarves, hats, coats, shirts and pants. I am certain the store fronts around the Park, sensing opportunity, will soon be decorated in all tints and shades of orange.

It was a perfect day. Bright, sunny, and chilly. The saffron-colored gates heated up the landscape and we all agreed they were meant to be installed in the winter, as the blooming trees of summer would have obstructed the views and taken away from the drama.

By far the most amazing thing about The Gates, as I’m sure it has been with most of C & JC’s projects, is the way it brings people together. Young, old, rich, poor, and people of all colors participated. We heard accents from every corner of the globe.

There were lots of smiles. The man in line behind us at the gift store (100% of the proceeds go to local non-profits) was on his cell phone to a friend. "Have you heard about this project called The Gates in Central Park?" he asked. He proceeded to describe it excitedly to his friend as if it was something he just happened upon and got caught up in. Meanwhile, his arms were full of posters, books, and and other mementos from his visit. It was great!

The southern end of the Park, where the highest concentration of The Gates is in place, seemed much more crowded. We enjoyed the open spaces and hilly terrain of the northern end of the Park. You can find a map and complete coverage on The New York Times site.

Photos (click on images for a larger view):
Rob and me in the middle of a sea of gates.
The Gates from above.
A nearby apartment complex gets into the spirit of things.
Some of the most beautiful views are around frozen lakes.Gates_018Gates_019_1


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4 comments to Sunday at The Gates

  • Thank you Alyson for going to New York and sharing your thoughts, feelings, and photos. I was at my very cool little grocery store at the center of Camden, Maine, on Sunday. I was looking at the NYTimes front page with the wonderful energy of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s gift splashed all over. Dreaming of my city. Suddenly the sirens and horns of the police car, the ambulance and fire engine blasted by, followed by a parade of cars: The Windjammers basketball team won the state tournament again! Caught between my two beautiful worlds with the similar energy of giving back flooding through me. I felt emotional and little alone, because there was no one to share this with. Thank you for giving me the space in your blog comments! Carla Sanders

  • Thanks for posting this and for e-mail 1st Team about your trip. Were I still living in NYC, I’m certain that I would be extremely excited about this “happening” (noun). I have it in mind to make the 400-mi rt trek to The City to experience the Gates, but my Happiness Gym project is likely to keep me otherwise occupied. We’ll see. Also, it’s nice to know that you have a blog. Your’s is s very nice one! I recently was motivated to figure out how to use Blogger, and so I started three of them — mainly for experience. I chose Blogger because it is integrated with Google and their family of integrated features, so it’s very easy to post news items and photos. (Perhaps, in the future, podcasts as well.) But I very much like the look and layout and content features of your blog. I hope you and your family enjoy the memories of this trip many years to come.

  • Alyson, You said (on the phone) that you were curious about my blogs. Well, the reason I didn’t provide the addresses in my previous posting was that they are not yet much to look at. But I will tell you about them since you asked. The blog for The Happiness Gym has mostly news stories that relate to positive psychology in some way. The blog for The Happiness Foundation is identical for now, except for minor differences in the template. I’m using the above two blogs mainly as a repository for news stories that I become aware of. I just hit the “Blogger” button in my browser, and the article is posted a couple of clicks later. My own blog, Al Cannistraro, mainly has some photos posted. Again, Blogger makes it very easy to upload photos using its own software. Eventually, I expect to begin using this blog for posting my thoughts, etc., as bloggers generally do — not so much for the world to see, but to force me to compose them carefully as if the world were reading them.

  • Thanks for your thoughts and photos. I am so jealous that I did not get to see The Gates — too far a drive from San Francisco.