July 21, 2008

New York City Waterfalls: Sucked in by the Brooklyn Bridge

Dana and I are off to New York soon to catch RENT before it departs Broadway in September. Since I'm not one to spend a nanosecond of my NYC time standing in one of those half-price, same-day TKTS lines, I buy online at Broadway.com and pray that the show will be worth the exorbitant price. After a dozen or so shows, I've been stung only once, by Mamma Mia. Sitting through that interminable inanity was beyond painful, a misery that even a giant box of Goobers couldn't relieve. (And now, God help us, there's a film version. Meryl Streep, what were you thinking?)

Our other plans for this trip -- Dana's first Amtrak journey -- include visiting a few colleges, running the Brooklyn Bridge, and taking in the outdoor art installation Waterfalls, by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, which runs through October 13, 2008. Eliasson has installed four massive, turbine-powered waterfalls at four locations in Manhattan, including one that cascades off the bottom half of one of the Brooklyn Bridge's two iconic, granite towers.

Waterfalls on the Brooklyn Bridge and elsewhere are a neat idea, but it seems that the artist and the rest of the folks responsible for installing giant, water-sucking turbines around the city failed to consider that members of the viewing public could -- indeed, did -- get sucked in by those turbines.

Shortly after the installation went live, two kayakers paddled up to the Brooklyn Bridge cascade for a closer look. The turbine vacuumed them up and thrashed them about in and under the East River. They were rescued, but they nearly died.

Dana and I will view the New York City Waterfalls from terra firma or a Circle Line boat cruise.