|Central Park's Public Enemy No. 1|
|Central Park's Public Enemy No. 1|
Joining that newly installed elephant in Union Square in the city's gallery of public art, there's a similarly scaled sculpture we noticed being erected in the south part of Central Park over the weekend, just across the street from the Plaza Hotel. Tornado "is a new commission by Michael Sailstorfer that will rise to more than 30 feet in height," according to a construction sign from the Public Art Fund (the folks who recently brought us Sol Lewitt in City Hall Park and The Andy Monument in Union Square). "Made of industrial truck tire inner tubes attached to a steel amarture, the work is inspired by the high velocity winds and raw power associated with these weather phenomena."
Steven Thrasher Sailstorfer's 30 foot sculpture being installed
Larger picture after the jump.
This week, a lost cat was adopted and a baby lamb was born, and we can all thank Hurricane Irene. Yeah, that Hurricane Irene, the one that is one of the top ten costliest storms in U.S. history, shut down the biggest transit system in the country for a weekend, and caused widespread devastation
Not newborn Irene Hope, but close enough.
and the Catskills. Forget all that noise! Focus on the kitty and the wee baby lamb, both of whom are happy and healthy.
• The peacock that escaped the Central Park Zoo to great human acclaim and consternation yesterday simply to sit on a window ledge near East 65th Street has flown back to his coop. "Our staff monitored the bird through the night, and at 6:45 a.m., he flew back on his own," the zoo's director, Jeff Sailer, said in a statement. "A thorough understanding of the peacock's natural behavior allowed for the successful planning of its recovery." Until next time! [NYT]
Hot on the heels of that Bronx Zoo Peacock that went on the lam and got a Twitter account back in May, there's a new escapee bird about town. This one hails from the Central Park Zoo and was sighted on the fourth floor of 838 Fifth Avenue near East 65th Street this afternoon, prompting onlookers to tweet jokes like "Hey @BronxzoosCobra, lunch!" and "Don't jump! We promise to get you a new birdbath!" According to our own C.C. Kellogg, who was on the scene and shot this photo, a cop said of the whole event, "Well, this is awkward."
Happy Same-Sex Sunday, 2.0!
Jeremy and Alex, who posed last week with the twin volunteer flower girls while getting their license, about to legally wed in church
Last Sunday, the first day same-sex marriage was legal, weddings were performed largely in civil ceremonies. Government marriage bureaus were opened specially across the city and state, and volunteer judges were on hand to grant waivers so that people (some who'd been waiting decades) could avoid the normal 24 hour waiting period. While some rabbis and ministers were on hand to perform ceremonies at borough halls, most were done by judges, and all happened rather quickly.
For those wanting to get married in a house of worship, the logistics of getting the license and planning a ceremony took a little longer. Last Tuesday night, civil rights pioneers Ruthie Berman and Connie Kurtz got married at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah. Yesterday was the first time LGBT Christians could conceivably plan to get married during a regular Sunday service. And so, after the eleven weddings we attended last Sunday, plus taking in one we ran into on the street completely by accident during the week, we witnessed five more happy couples tie the knot yesterday in two different venues.More »
Today, the first Saturday after gay marriages began in New York City, 24 same-sex couples will marry in Central Park at Merchant's Gate, on the corner of 59th Street and Central Park West. The Pop Up Chapel was an idea born among friends -- including local software developer Josh French, Gothamist editor Jen Carlson, writers Lindsay Robertson and Tyler Coates, and legal minister Bex Schwartz, whose day job is as a writer and director -- in the wave of excitement over gay marriage passing on the evening of June 24. Now it's actually happening! We spoke with Schwartz, as well as Anja Winikka of the Knot, which is acting as wedding planner for the event, and one of the couples who will be married there this evening, Dese'rae L. Stage and Katie Marks, who are, respectively, a photographer and a licensed massage therapist. They're both 28.
Stage and Marks, photo by Matt Miller
Think about this when you're relaxing in Central Park over the weekend: An entire community once lived there, with homes and several churches and at least one school, right in the park (before it was the park). We're talking about Seneca Village, a largely African-American community of some 260 people that existed from the 1820s until 1857, when they were evicted so that Central Park could be created. They lived in the area between 81st and 89th Streets and 7th and 8th Avenues, in what is now part of Central Park, east of Central Park West.
For many years, three professors from City College, Columbia, and NYU had sought to gain permission to dig in the park, seeking artifacts from this community. They had documentary records of Seneca Village, including maps of houses, newspaper accounts, affidavits, and church records. They had radar that showed where homes existed. But the city wouldn't let them excavate -- until 8 weeks ago. Today marks the last day of their dig. We spoke to archaeologist Nan Rothschild of Columbia, who told us about what they found...and what it means.More »