Steel Fountain In Rockefeller

by AMANDA MELILLO · March 3, 2008

fountain [Photo via NY Times]

I'm not sure if you noticed, since you may have been following a time-honored Sunday tradition of sleeping most of the day to battle a bad hangover from last night's cheap vodka cocktails (apparently the bartender DIDN'T use the Grey Goose he charged you for) but it was a gorgeous afternoon yesterday, the perfect day to escape the confines of your tiny apartment and take a leisurely stroll in the closest park, to enjoy the trees even if they don't have leaves yet. Sadly, I had to work and therefore waste an opportunity for park-strolling laziness, but I did try to squeeze in some extra walking on my way to work and passed, Rockefeller Center, which I find I can stand to be in the vicinity of once more now that the infernal Christmas tree and the throngs of camera-happy, slow-moving tourists that it brings is gone. But where the tree once stood, a replacement has found its way as the centerpiece for this corner of the city that is basically famous for having an ice-skating rink attached to the name of "old money."

If you read the Arts section of the Times, perhaps you are familiar with "The Electric Fountain," a new public sculpture by London art duo Tim Noble and Sue Webster, in which neon tubing with moving blue LED lights simulate cascading water on this rather metallic-looking fountain. Webster told the Times, "This piece is really about danger," then adding, "Everyone knows you shouldn't mix electricity with water." As someone that appreciates art but self-admittedly sometimes misses the point of contemporary painting, sculpture and installment, I thought this statement was, excuse me for saying so, kind of bullshit. Yeah, you shouldn't mix electricity with water, but you're NOT ACTUALLY MIXING electricity with water. To me, it's kind of a cop-out, and if you really want to impress me, I suggest some kind of stunning aquatic choreography replete with a light display that's reminiscent of fireworks. Yet as I glimpsed the sculpture today, I had to admit that is IS kind of cool. I probably should have taken longer to watch the lights (I really could have been five minutes late to work, it was a Sunday) and would recommend it to anyone passing by with a few minutes to kill. Although maybe you shouldn't take my word for it. After all, I did like the Gates when they graced Central Park with their presence, too.