March 03, 2005

Newsweek's Quindlen calls Gates "Ode to Joy, in Bright Orange"

My third and last post about Christo's Gates (see Feb 17 and Feb 21). I promised a photo. I managed to squeeze off a few before my beloved Nikon, 31 years old, decided to quit on me. I guess she didn't feel like working in the 16-degree midtown freeze. She's at the camera hospital as I type this. This is a camera that you fix. A camera that makes people on the street stop and stare, some whistling words like, "What a beauty!" or "That's a camera..." Some people ask to hold it, and they hand it back with appreciation and reluctance. If they take a picture with it, they marvel at and comment on its substantial, steel heft and the rich, deep tone of the shutter as it clicks.

In the March 7, 2005 issue of Newsweek, columnist Anna Quindlen wrote a piece about The Gates titled "Ode to Joy, in Bright Orange." Like me, Quindlen found it important that "'The Gates' made the people walking beneath its swaying curtains smile."

She writes, "We've lost sight of rituals of happiness. Oh, we've become adept, even mechanical, at remembrance and regret...But the public gestures that make us smile have slipped away..."

Noting that "All over this country there are cities and towns troubled by natural disasters, personal loss, tragedies," Quindlen, like so many others, found joy in The Gates simply because "For lots of people, the installation made them happy for no reason, the way a spring day does..."

May you find some joy today.

Ribbons of Highway book proceeds continue to go to tsunami relief.