Renowned environmental artist Christo's widely publicized outdoor installation known as "The Gates" was unveiled in Central Park on Feb. 12, 2005 (a Saturday). At my friend Tom's suggestion we hopped on the #1 subway at noon and went up to the park to experience it for ourselves (that's me in the photo). I didn't quite know what to make of this "art", and didn't find it particularly aesthetically pleasing. The "gates" were made from a canvas-like fabric which was a safron/orange color, giving the gates somewhat of a harsh, industrial look (but ING Bank was probably delighted to have its corporate colors on display without paying for a sponsorship). Nonetheless, there was a sense of wonderment to this ambitious undertaking and its 7,500 fabric gates covering twenty-three miles of the park. Tom and I each got one of the small square fabric samples handed out as keepsakes.
Because the sky was overcast the colors really popped. This was great for picture taking and it's likely that most everyone living in Manhattan has a stash of photos snapped or video clips posted on You Tube at this out-of-the-ordinary exhibit. After spending nearly 90 minutes wandering park trails, a chill eventually settled into our bones and we took our leave and went to lunch. We were two of the estimated one million visitors who had come to gaze at "The Gates" in its opening weekend. Later on during the installation's second, and final, week it took on a softer look after two significant snowfalls blanketed the park. All in all, it was a unique and pleasant diversion in the dead of winter.