Friday, November 16, 2012

Discovering Columbus in New York City




This is how most New Yorkers see Columbus Circle in Manhattan.  It is a small park/traffic circle located at the intersection of Eighth Avenue, Broadway, Central Park South (West 59th Street), and Central Park West, at the southwest corner of Central Park. It is the point from which all official distances from New York City are measured, and one of the busiest intersections in New York City.  I took this photo and the next photo last year, looking through a mosaic paned window from the second floor of the Time Warner Center, located at 10 Columbus Circle.


A 13 foot tall statue of Christopher Columbus has stood 75 feet on top of the Columbus Monument in the center of Columbus Circle since 1892. It was placed there to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus's first voyage to the Americas. Sculpted by Gaetano Russo, the marble statue stands on top of a granite column featuring bronze ships' prows that represent his famous voyage with the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria.


Recently, this is how many fortunate New Yorkers, and tourists, were able to view this same statue of Christopher Columbus.



No, he wasn't removed from his pedestal and brought inside a museum or an exhibit hall.



In fact, an exhibit room was built around the statue! 

This is a photo taken from the same location in the Time Warner Center window of the scaffolding, 6 story staircase and room built as part the Discovering Columbus exhibit.  It was conceived by the Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi and backed by the Public Art Fund.



The exhibit is an 800-square-foot replica of a contemporary living room that is suspended 70 feet in the air, supported by scaffolding. To enter the room, a visitor first  has to climb six flights of stairs. There is also a hoist lift for use by disabled visitors.


The Statue of Columbus stands like a decorative item on a central coffee table in the room, and is surrounded by several comfy chairs and sofas, and a bookcase and flat screen television.



Visitors are free to lounge on the furniture and get a good look at the monument.



It was quite a unusual experience!


The pink and gold wallpaper covering the walls in the room was designed by the artist, and features iconic American pop culture figures, such as Mickey Mouse, Elvis, Michael Jackson, McDonald's and Coca Cola.


There were also beautiful views of New York City from the windows in the room where Columbus stood. Looking north, you can see a portion of the Trump International Hotel and Tower located between Broadway and Central Park West



From other windows you can see 8th Avenue and Central Park South.
 

It was an amazing feeling to be able to gaze into the eyes of a statue that for 120 years could only be viewed from the ground, far below. This art exhibit by Nishi, his first in the United States, accomplished its purpose of altering this statue's perspective and allowing the public to have intimate access to a work of art that is often overlooked.
 
 
The free exhibit has been so popular, it has been extended till December 2, 2012.  A timed reservation pass has to be obtained on the Public Art Fund web site in order to be admitted. If you are in NYC, and have the time, hurry over to have this amazing encounter before it's too late!

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41 comments:

EliFla said...

I got the same picture from Time Warner Center ..... thanks for infos.... xoxoxoxo, have a wonderful weekend, Flavia

EliFla said...
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EliFla said...
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Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a great idea to be able to see Columbus up close. Great photos Pat.
Sam

Betsy Adams said...

Love those first two pictures--even through the window, Pat... Gorgeous!!!

You will miss the big city--but you'll have lots more new things to explore.

Guess you'll have to totally change your blog after you move...

Hugs,
Betsy

Vee said...

How truly odd. I can't tell what I think. Did you really appreciate what was done? I might for the opportunity to see it up close; I'd be far less impressed by the outside view. alWaYs something interesting going on in NYC!

ellen b. said...

Very interesting Pat. Yikes I think I like it a whole lot better out in the open. I love the perspective on those first two photos taking them through the mosaic paned window.

pam said...

I just love the things artists come up with....seems so strange to close it in with the decor chosen...but how cool to be able to see it up close.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

What a novel concept someone came up with! Very neat.

That traffic circle reminds me of the one in Paris around the Arche de Triumph. I wondered how anyone knew which lane they were supposed to be in...but it seemed to work!

podso said...

Interesting post. You never know what you will come upon in NYC, right? Have a good weekend!

Nellie said...

How wonderful it would be to be able to view this exhibit! Thank you for sharing it with us, Pat.

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Wow, how amazing! Lucky you to be able to visit & look into those eyes!

Dorothy said...

Oh wow, I love your pics of NY. I've visited twice, one of my sons lives on Roosevelt Island, wish I could visit again soon!
Have a great weekend and Thanksgiving~
Dorothy

Anne said...

How astonishing is that? What an absolutely amazing, wonderful way of seeing this statue.

Linda said...

Greetings, Pat!
Congrats on such a fascinating blog. I have been reading here for the past 3+ hours! I will be visiting NYC for the first time beginning next weekend for 8 days! And, I can't wait It has always been a dream for me. Your delightful blog is chock full of fascinating info and awesome photos! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your beautiful city through your eyes. I've made lots of written notes and will be sure to see many things you write about. I couldn't ask for a better tour guide!
Linda at Beautiful Ideas

Schotzy said...

Thanks so much for the tour..... and for visiting my blog tonight! have a grand Thanksgiving!

GailO said...

What a great opportunity! I love this kind of thing...wish I could get a chance to see it myself:(

Light and Voices said...

I will not have the opportunity to visit this exhibit but have enjoyed seeing it from your viewpoint. Happy Thanksgiving!
Joyce M

Sarah said...

Pat, thanks for sharing this interesting information. Great concept!
Enjoy your weekend.......Sarah

eileeninmd said...

Pat, Thanks for the lovely tour. The shot of the statue from the distance is beautiful. I like how they are displaying the statue for up close views. I am surprised there is not too much traffic, Every time I have been to NYC the traffic was bumper to bumper. Great post and photos! Have a great weekend!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

WOW! Since I won't be there in person, thank you so much for the tour!! Happy weekend! tanna

ladyfi said...

That's a great view of Columbus. It was busy when I was there and I couldn't get a shot of it.

Paula's Postings said...

I have the same photos Pat from previous visits what a novel idea to build a room around the statue.

Susie said...

Pat, We went right past that Trump tower globe and I totally missed the statue of Columbus. We were on our tour bus at the time. I love all the wonderful sights you have shown us on your blog. I will truly miss your posts of NYC. I wish you a great life with your children in Colorado. xo, Susie

Chubskulit Rose said...

Wonderful exhibit photos!

iHeart PINK
Have a lovely Saturday. Come and see me when you get a chance.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Wasn't it fun? We couldn't stop giggling when we were up there.

Lavender Cottage said...

What an amazing statue of Columbus.

Yvette said...

Wow. This is the first I've heard of this, Pat. Where have I been? I'm convinced I'm living in an alternate universe. Ha.

Thanks for sharing this which is probably the only way I'd ever get to see it anyway. I'm going to miss all your NYC posts once you've gone west young girl, gone west. I think of you as my direct link to the city. :)

Great photos!

Lorrie Orr said...

That is a very unique kind of exhibit. The living room setting looks a little incongruous with the statue in the center, startling, but very interesting. It would be an unusual experience, indeed.
I really like the photos you took through the paned glass.

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

Hi Pat, Thank you for posting this interesting bit! I was hoping to see this exhibit but it's not going to happen. I have walked past Chris so often! I'm surprised at the poor condition of his face, but of course it makes sense as he has been exposed for so many years. I wonder if anything can be done to preserve him and still keep him outside on his pedestal. Happy Thanksgiving! Linda

diane b said...

How imaginative some artists are. This would be such a fun art experience. Great post as usual.

SmilingSally said...

Now that's creative! Thanks for playing today.

Happy Blue Monday and Happy Thanksgiving, Pat.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Fascinating story!

Palo Verde Tree & Blue Sky

beccagivens said...

Quite intriguing ... great photo capture to share with us, "up close and personal". Thank you!
Mellow Yellow Monday - 25

Rinkly Rimes said...

Columbus must have been quite surprised to find himself in a modern living-room!

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

What an amazing view to see and the room is a unique idea as you said. Just funny sometimes that some cultures see us as coca cola, mickey mouse and Michael Jackson. Ironic. Valerie

Al said...

What a great idea and nice shots. I've never been to that part of NYC, at least not that I can remember.

Roz P. said...

We have a lot to be grateful for the courageous Columbus! I've shared this post with my hubby who went to grad school in Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State) and who has a greater appreciation for Columbus than most non-Italians!!!!!

Pat, I wish you and yours a beautiful Thanksgiving and want you to know that I am thankful for our friendship!

Let us know when you arrive in Colorado!

Baci,
Roz

Annesphamily said...

Always joyful to visit you here Pat! I always found Columbus to be an interesting person and as a young child we all pitched in and worked the Columbus Day dinner's my aunt catered. We rubbed elbows with lots of politicians in those good old days.
Your photos are magnificent and I always enjoy saying hello here.
Hugs Anne

Beverly said...

Thank you for sharing this, Pat. I learned so much, and I love your photos looking through the window. Such a cool perspective.

Ann said...

yellow taxis, won't miss them.

I was lucky when I went to the Statue of Liberty, it was open to go up.