What are those stone blocks all over the park?

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Anonymous's picture

There are hundreds of these stone (or iron) blocks being laid along side all of the footpaths in the north section of the park. Any idea what they are?

Anonymous's picture
Christian Edstrom (not verified)

They're the steel bases for the Christo gates to be installed on the park footpaths. Each base weighs 600 lbs.


- Christian

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
very cool...hope they're not damaged by jerks (nm)
Anonymous's picture
Isaac Brumer (not verified)

Hopefully someone creative will snap a pic of NYCCers under the gates & include in the bulletin!

Anonymous's picture
bill (not verified)

Wow thanks.

I'm not a big christo fan - what a waste of money. I was hoping they were instead some sort of thing where they'd put lights or cobblestones along the paths...

But once its up, I hope I can break out my mountain bike and fly through those gates one night!

Anonymous's picture
Andrew Jackson (not verified)

FWIW: Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude finance all their projects out of their own pockets; i.e., it's not our money he's wasting. I read somewhere that they were furiously producing drawings over the past couple months and selling them to maintain cash flow for the current project in CP.

Anonymous's picture
too much (not verified)
better spent

We could send pictures to Sri Lanka?
Seems silly to me.

Anonymous's picture
MP (not verified)

Gates are costing them $20 million out of pocket. They are giving $3 million to the Central Park Conservancy. All proceeds from memorabilia going to Nurture New York's Nature.

Link provided with permission from Worth mag:

Of course this means for 16 days we'll have to dodge tourists in what would otherwise be a relatively empty Central Park. I wouldn't be surprised if they curtail cycling during this time.

Anonymous's picture
XXX (not verified)
commerce, not art

This pseudo art is actually just commerce, and anyone who uses the park is paying for it in inconvenience (hill repeats during the daytime have been difficult for the last month because of all the forklifts and flatbed trucks on 102nd st. bypass road).

This is going to be around until at least the end of February + the time to take it down, probably interfering with using the park to get in shape for the SIGs.

Anonymous's picture
xxxxxxxxx (not verified)
come on

I love cycling in central park just as much as the next person, but it's not there just for cyclists. Go to river road if you want to do hill repeats

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
New York's backyard

February is the least disruptive time to mount a public art work like this one (which Christo has been trying to realize this work since about the 1970s, if memory serves). It will probably be good for NYC tourists during that horrible month as well.

Oooooh, that will mean a lot of $&%*&! tourists in the park as well.

Alas, as a public space, Central Park is dedicated to recreational uses by all New Yorkers, not just cyclists.

But if you think the city lacks sufficient space for cyclists, have you noticed how many CARS are on the streets, hmmmmm??? Nah--streets congested by automobiles aren't our problem--High Art is!

Anonymous's picture
Art Major (not verified)
Bad precedent.

"Christo today, Thomas Kinkaide tomorrow. Maybe a 5 acre Tasha Tudor Christmas village next year? Good for tourism. You can bet the bank that Mickey Mouse and friends are looking into using the park for ""art""---paid for out of Mickey's pocket, of course.
Protecting the park and maintaining it as the ""natural"" work of art it was designed to be requires extreme, if not maniacal, vigilance.
I might be wrong but isn't there a museum for art somewhere in the park? I think I went there once in college."

Anonymous's picture
linda (not verified)
Christo vs. Disney

"Equating Christo's visionary work with an opportunistic corporation like Disney or a paint-by-numbers hack like Kinkaide (I had to Google that one since I had no idea who he was) is really quite silly. If you are going to make analogies they should at least be congruent.

Central Park is not a ""natural"" work of art - it is a work of art that incorporates nature. It didn't just occur...it was built. And as to the ""maniacal vigilance"" to keep it as it was designed...well, it was designed to incorporate city traffic - hence the roadways. Using your logic, should we therefore not try to eliminate traffic in the park? Just asking.


Anonymous's picture
Art Major (not verified)
Not an aesthetic judgement.

"I didn't equate Christo's work with Kinkaide's aesthetically. (But as commercial geniuses they are in the same ballpark: Kinkaide franchises; Christo sells rent-free in the park.) If more propositions for art exhibits are made, who is going to determine what is aesthetically acceptable? You wouldn't allow Kinkaide anywhere near the place but maybe Bloomberg would. And what could you do about it?
In art school we did learn that quite a few buildings and parks in the city were indeed ""built"". Central Park is a ""natural"" work of art because it was designed to imitate nature in the middle of a city where all traces of nature had disappeared. It has been hugely successful doing just that.
I'm not sure what point you are making about traffic in the park. Bike traffic? Car traffic? Pedestrian traffic? Carriage traffic?
Maniacal vigilance refers to battles fought even by Olmsted as soon as the Park was finished to protect the park from commercial developers, promoters, egomaniacs, politicians, etc.--a worthy effort that hasn't been entirely successful."

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
If you believe the hype...

...the hotels and restaurants are already booked solid for the 16 days of the installation. Make of that what you will.

When Christo and JeanClaude wrapped the Pont Neuf in Paris there were the same grumblings from selfish, myopic people who couldn't open themselves up a little bit for a lousy two weeks. Similarly, when they wrapped the islands in Biscayne Bay between Miami and Miami Beach, the grumblings took on pseudo-environmental overtones. And when they wrapped the Reichstag, too - the same mean, petty, selfish complaints.

Disclaimer - I am not now nor have ever been an art student. I am, however a fan and proponent of Central Park, and have been since before it's low point in the 70's

Anonymous's picture
linda (not verified)
Art...Not Commerce

What exactly is pseudo art?

I have always been a Christo fan and have, until now, never been lucky enough to see one up close and personal.

Your concern that it might inconvenience your riding is somewhat short-sighted. The park is for everyone and the fact that for a few weeks it will be 843 acres of conceptual art is absolutely amazing and thrilling. During a cold and dreary winter the park that we all love so much is being transformed in its entirety into a breathtaking work of art.

I think thats pretty amazing.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
What exactly is pseudo art?


As an art school graduate I've been trying to parse this one too. Since I can't claim encyclopedic knowledge, here are my best guesses:

1) Pseudo Art is the latest developmental phase in the postmodern teleology: Pop Art, Conceptual Art, Performance Art, Appropriation, Deconstruction, Bad Art, Installation, Pseudo Art. (The well's been running dry lately--high time we had a new movement!)

2) Pseudo Art is anything made by humans that does NOT require the conscious use of skill and creative imagination in the production of aesthetic objects.

3) Pseudo Art is art as defined by pseudo critics.

Hope this helps,


Anonymous's picture
linda (not verified)
I pick Option 3

Thanks Carol,

Well said...

I too am an art school graduate and I would have to go along with your option 3.


Anonymous's picture
agreeablesteve (not verified)

It's going to look amazing.

We should all encourage such ideas. For every 9 pathetic ideas someone views there is 1 stroke of genius. If you dont get exposed to the 10, you dont get anything - you know what I mean. Some will love it, some will hate it.

The park is not a training ground for cyclists, lets face it they hardly seem to want us there.

Financially it's paid for by the artists and will rake in cash for the city. If we are truly worried about what our representatives and our country spend money on think about this. Half the country atleast doesnt support Bush, but he is about spend millions on his inauguration. He gave only $10'000 of his own cash to the Asian Tsunami fund.......

Anonymous's picture
art (not verified)
Robert Smithson (Spiral Jetty, Amarillo Ramp, etc..)

Oh for shame. Let art be. If he was with us now, I'm sure he would have a lot to say.....

Anonymous's picture
linda (not verified)
Yes, he would probably have alot to say...

...as they were contemporaries and both part of the same movement of Installation Art and had/have similar sensibilities

Anonymous's picture
ANY (not verified)
"whatever the ""art"", this should not be impairing normal use"

"The fact is that impairment of enjoyment of the park by cyclists or any other NY residents (including wildlife) by this project is not only not a good thing but it is a violation of the perpetrators' contract with the city and the parks dept. (from their own web site):

""The contract requires the artists to provide, among other terms and conditions:

-Clearance for the usual activities in the park . . .

-The people of New York will continue to use Central Park as usual.""


After all, cyclists and joggers don't ride their bikes or jog in the MOMA's sculpture garden or MMOA's exhibit halls, to say nothing about all the other ""usual activities"" in the park (hiking, dogwalking, pushing baby strollers, Pale Male's hunting, etc.)."

Anonymous's picture
a former former-editor (not verified)
maybe i'm wrong, but. . .

"the bases for the gates all seem to be along the footpaths, not along the roadway. and last i checked, cyclists aren't allowed to ride on the footpaths. at least that's what the painted signs every hundred yards or so say. . .

leaving aside the question of whether one considers the gates ""art"", if they are only along the footpath, exactly how are they interfering with your bike riding?"

Anonymous's picture
Chris T. (not verified)
A historic event in CP History...

"...is what I expect the Gates will be. Whether good or bad, the bases are EVERYWHERE, and there still are thousands left along the north transverse yet to be placed. The Park will be transformed -- even now their presence is unavoidable.

1. The timing is good, the park is not flowering, with the bare trees, the gates will make an even greater impression on the public. It could be viewed as a preliminary spring, or a second autumn.

2. This time of year, the park only brings the dedicated users. Visitors to the park will come specifically to see the Gates. Depending on the numbers, this event could become a ""happening""

3. There is a VERY good chance of Significant snow accumulations for a couple of days. That with the Gates will transform the effect visually.

4. The renderings I had seen of the gates gave me the impression that the color of the fabric was the Burnt orange of a construction zone. That color to me, would suck. However, I spoke with one of the workmen yesterday, and he says that the colors will change with the ambient light, and that the predominate color will be Golden. If that is the case, that color is more organic to the natural beauty of Central Park -- and that I have hopes will be pleasing. While sensation of the visual senses will predominate, the other sense could also be stimulated in a pleasing manner.

5. While I have never been to Berlin, the covering of the Reichstag generated tremendous discussion everywhere. Is this not the role of Art -- to promote thought, discussion, even controversy? Art that is ignored is perhaps not Art.

6. I have never been, nor attempted to pretend to be, an Art Major"

Anonymous's picture
Yogi (not verified)
Zen and the art of looking at Art

I sure am looking forward to seeing it, and it will be taken down in a New York minute(few weeks). I’m sure there’ll be people looking to sue everybody involved by walking into a few poles.

When looking up at the fabrics flapping in the breeze. Watch out for small children, muggers, heaping steamy piles of dog poop, and Mr. Bill on a MTB ( :-)

Anonymous's picture
Brad Ensminger (not verified)

Hello Fellow Installation Art Lovers and Haters,

I have one suggestion concerning the art installation coming to Central Park: Wait until it's installed before judging it.

A few years ago I remember seeing a lavish, opulent and fanciful painting at the Brooklyn Museum, of a 'Madonna'. It was mecilessly condemned by various religious organizations because of the materials used to make it. The artist used dried animal dung, which was a traditional art-making material in his native country. (By the way the dried dung gave off no odors.)

After the complaints began, I saw the painting for myself. I was amazed that it was so beautiful and inoffensive. The most interesting element in the painting was the gold leaf used in its decoration.

What stays in my mind about the negative reaction is that none of the Condemners actually saw the painting. They just read Mayor Giuliani's press release about it and piled their opinions on top.

Give the art a chance. (Then you can love or hate it for what it looks like, or is.)

Anonymous's picture
Christian Edstrom (not verified)
The Holy Virgin Mary

The Holy Virgin Mary, by Turner Prize Winner Chris Ofili.

Linked here:

Anonymous's picture
Christian Edstrom (not verified)

Don't forget--the painting was collaged over with small porn mag shots of pudenda--fertility symbols, according to one interpretation.

Right-thinking Rudy of course interpreted these images as vulgar and heretical. (Nuts to you, Rudy.) But Mary was said to be human, wasn't she?

Anonymous's picture
Charlie Ward (not verified)
Greetings from Pittsburgh

Just a short hello to my NYCC friends. I am now living in Pittsburgh and doing my Zen-like best to find good cycling in this twisty-hilly-bikerunfriendly town. I miss all of you. Please send my regards in particular to Jack, Bob, and Ed. (You know who you are.)

Anonymous's picture
Etoain Shrd Lu (not verified)
Colors, spectacles, decapitations, and other random thoughts

"1. Somebody suggested that all the hotels and restaurants are booked during the installation. All? ALL??? Does that include the little Turkish restaurant on 2nd Avenue near 71st? The Chinese chicken joint on West 36th Street? The Old Homestead down in the meat market? Which restaurants? How does he know? Which hotels? This is all total baloney -- hyped factoid on toast.

2. The suggestion that the Christo ""installation"" will probably attract lots of tourists is, however, true. So would a public guillotining. I like the guillotine idea better. In keeping with the old French tradition of guillotining the rulers, I suggest that Mayor Bloomberg go guillotine himself.

3. Somebody sought to calm us nervous nature beasts by reassuring us that even though the wraps will be Prison Jumpsuit Orange, they will actually look more golden much of the time. Oh goody! Will that be urine golden, Craola golden or metaphoric golden? Personally, I would feel a lot less disturbed if they would do a pale blue. And don't argue with me. De gustibus non disputendum est, to quote an Ancient Roman who might have visited Montenegro.

4. Christo makes an effing fortune selling drawings of his, err, installations. Once again, we have an example of someone making a mockery of the intent of the park designers for personal gain. We didn't have this in Montenegro when Marshal Tito was running Yugoslavia. No sirree!

5. I do, however, like the promise that Christo's rag show is only temporary and will be taken down after a few weeks. Central Park is littered with permanent ""art"" that offends the original concept of the park as a green escape from the insanity of the city, decorated with things that tend to grow naturally, such as trees. So while we're taking down Christo's ""art,"" could we please also take down...

--The huge ugly statue of Daniel Webster and his cockamayme speech about ""now and forever..."" yadda and dada. Was Webster a better speech maker than Lincoln? Than Roosevelt? Than Kennedy? Shouldn't we have a road block full of statuary of political speech makers crossing the East Drive?

--The entire so-called ""Poet's Corner"" on the south end of the Park, most especially those statues of second rate 19th Century poets who are deservedly long-forgotten, except for the bronze tonnage that represents them. What is Sir Walter Scott doing among them? He was a trash novelist. Oh, and also take down Robert Burns from that same section. If we must have a poet whose work has actually lasted more than a Century, how about an American poet like Walt Whitman? You prefer e.e. cummings once his centennial arrives? Well there you go! Once you start with ""art"" there's no stopping it from eating everybody's lunch as we try being fair to everybody who has an artistic ax to grind.

--Balto the whatchamacallit dog who got something or other through to somewhere or other in Alaska and is now celebrated with a statue. Personally, I'd rather see a great dane lifting his leg to a length of Christo fabric. Now there's an installation worth having around for a couple of weeks.

--The Alice In Wonderland thingum north of the sailboat pond on the East Side of the Park. What's the matter with those park people? Don't they know Lewis Carrol was a latent pederast who took nude photographs of little girls and carried safety pins around in his pockets to pin up their skirts as they (with his urging and encouragement) waded across streams? And that he never had an intimate relationship with an adult women (although he tried to curry favor from Queen Victoria, who was out of reach anyway.) And children actually play on this Alice thing -- the biggest monument to child molestation in the history of the planet!

--Fred LeBow, whose statue got inserted into a bunch of bushes up in the East 90s, most probably by the New York Road Runners special interest lobby. First of all, Fred looks as if he's about to jump out of the b"

Anonymous's picture
bike man (not verified)

"Dude, you crack me up.

""Although some biographers have portrayed Carroll to be a shy, awkward recluse who was only comfortable around young girls, he was actually very charming and sociable. Even though he never married, many of his friends were women, and he wrote several love poems to them. He loved to hold dinner parties and made detailed charts of where his guests sat at the table and what they had to eat.""

But the Lance statue, good idea! We can fund it with Christo's $3 Mil."

Anonymous's picture
Etoain Shrd Lu (not verified)
Dinner with Lewis

""" Even though he never married, many of his friends were women, and he wrote several love poems to them. He loved to hold dinner parties and made detailed charts of where his guests sat at the table and what they had to eat.""

The love poems were a mask, rather like a married gay man (A governor, perhaps? Maybe an orchestra conductor?) who uses his wife to hide his true sexual passions. You are quite correct about his dinner party charts. Good thing Carroll made them. It kept his mind off little girls.

""When you have a beautiful woman naked before your easel, do not waste your time drawing still lives of pears on plates.""

--Vladomir Irgl Isovec
Professor Emeritus of Drawing, Aethetics and Art   Appreciation
Montenegro Academy of Art

Anonymous's picture
ANY (not verified)
"it's not ""seeing is believing"""

"Right on, Et.

All those ""art students"" above who claim that ""seeing is believing"" this ""modern art"" (no, no, it's not ""marketing"") should read Tom Wolfe's ""The Painted Word"" in which he demonstrates that's actually backward; to wit, ""believing is seeing."""

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Who hasn't?

"Come on, what self-respecting art student since 1975 hasn't read it?

Tom Wolfe is a clever satirist, and at least as readable as most art writers, who with the exception of the New Yorker's Peter Scheldahl are largely forgettable.

But the failure of most art writing to adequately ""explain"" art proves nothing about the art itself.

People argue about art because it is infinitely subjective. That is also why it is so human -- and the only reason why people care about it, one way or another. The great navigator of this emotional minefield is Marcel Proust. Read the Remembrance, preferably in French, with footnotes. Everything else pales by comparison."

Anonymous's picture
Etoain Shrd Lu (not verified)
Proust for Privates

"""The great navigator of this floating emotional minefield is Marcel Proust. Read the Remembrance, preferably in French, with footnotes.""""

My Uncle Istvan, a hero of the Montenegrin Resistance, used to tell me that this is exactly what they did to captured SS men. Usually, they broke down and talked within 24 hours.

Your Pal,

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
That is tasteless

Which isn't to say it will lack an audience.

Anonymous's picture
linda (not verified)

Bravo Carol.

Its interesting how almost all of the naysayers above are anonymous posts. Perhaps because their knowledge of art does not exceed the boundaries of the color coordinated print hung over their living room couch.

Anonymous's picture
Art Major (not verified)
You are the Guiliani of Christo enthusiasts.

You have the most condescending attitude about art and taste that I have encountered in years. You are the Guiliani of Christo enthusiasts. You must have just gotten into art school.

Anonymous's picture
Linda (not verified)

"Since when is it considered condescending to be supportive of different art forms. In case you didn't get the memo...""art"" is not just for museums.

But if it is true that I ""have the most condescending attitude about art and taste that (you) have encountered in years"" then 1) thank you and 2) you really do need to get out more.

By the way - have the cujones to post under your real name and email.


Anonymous's picture
art major (not verified)


Anonymous's picture
Etoain Shrd Lu (not verified)
Proust on cookie crumbs

"I quite agree. Please pass the madeleines and let us meditate and free associate for a few thousand pages or so. It beats bicycling anyway. Or some other healthy endeavor.

""I would rather make wine than make conversation about silly things,"" as the great winemaker Grgich said.

Your Pal,

P.S. Winemakers don't want vintages with good taste. They want vintages that taste good. Sorry, Charlie."

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
Thank you (nm)
Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (an art school drop-out) (not verified)
This has nothing whatsoever to do with this thread, but...

"Noting Etoain's rant about the Alice statue in the park and the notes regarding its author, Lewis Carroll was, in fact, the Rev. Charles Ludwig Dodson. (Hmm, maybe it was Dodgson.) (Reverse ""Charles Ludwig"" and Latinate it to get to Lewis Carroll.) Not only was he a minister, he was also a noted mathematician.

Queen Victoria was so enchanted by ""Through the Looking Glass,"" or whichever was Carroll's first ""Alice"" book, that she bid him to dedicate his next book to her. He dutifully did. It is dedicated ""To my Queen."" It is a book of trigonometric functions."

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
law school dropout, art school dropout...

Anything else?

Anonymous's picture
art (not verified)
Lewis Carroll - Charles Dodgson

"...and a photographer of little children. Noteably little girls. Well one little girl mostly - Alice Liddell, who was ""the Alice"" in wonderland.


Charles Dodgson was born on January 27 1832.In the most high profile and respected of modern biography, Carroll is variously described as one ""[whose] sexual energies sought unconventional outlets"", who was ""utterly depend[ent] upon the company and the affection of little girls"". It is said with certainty that he was infamous for this passion even during his own lifetime, his photography of their bodies ""perilously close to a kind of substitute for the sexual act"". (Bakewell, xvii, 245, Cohen, 530)."

Anonymous's picture
Tom Laskey (not verified)
Idea for a new Poll

What is the silliest argument posted to this thread?:

1) Christo should not be allowed to wrap Central Park because it will inconvenience those who are training for the SIG

2) Christo is spending 20 million dollars wrapping Central Park so he can sell more postcards.

3) Art only belongs in museums.

4) Being an art major or art school graduate makes your opinion of Christo's wrap more valid.

5) The slippery slope: Today it's Christo, tomorrow it's Disney.

6) Lewis Carroll was a pederast.

Feel free to nominate any thing I missed

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)
Correct me if I'm wrong..

...but I didn't think Hitler got into art school.
{I just had to get on this thread, this is a cycle club?}

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Hitler as a scorned, would-be painter...again, off subject.

Beware: If you reject an artist, you might get a mass murderer in his place.

Hitler had hoped to be a fine arts painter. As I understand it, his application to art school was rejected because the quality of his painting was banal, or, to keep this in a bike framework, pedestrian. He is ridiculed as having been a house painter and I wonder if, in fact, there is that in the background of Adolph Schicklegruber (sp?). I believe following his being rejected as a painter he turned to the study of architecture.

Anonymous's picture
jk (not verified)

I have been riding in the park while all this is happening, and it has not inconvenienced me at all. In fact, I have found the workers to be quite polite, accomodating, and they make sure that I have a clear, safe path to ride by.

I an very excited by this Christo project. I can't wait to do my laps once it is all installed.

Anonymous's picture
jk (not verified)
Proust Be Damned

Lewis Carroll too. I always train with Mao's little Red Book in my jersey.....

Anonymous's picture
Etoain Shrd Lu (not verified)
Little Red Book

"""Lewis Carroll too. I always train with Mao's little Red Book in my jersey.....""

God bless you! And to think I had always assumed that our club was made up of running dogs of capitalism. Whoops! Sorry for that slip of bike club political incorrectness. I meant to say pedaling dogs of capitalism.
Your Pal,

cycling trips