Happy 4th of July! I'm not generally an overly patriotic person (if anybody asks me I'll say Italy and Canada are better in a second) BUT today's adventures sure made me appreciate this great city. I enlisted the company of a brand new friend - someone I had never before spent any time with, which added to the "I've never" nature of today's outing. We took the subway down to South Street Seaport and stood on the piers to view all four of the Waterfalls - NYC's summer '08 public art installation. This installation has been compared to the Gates, the orange gated flags that the artist Christo put up all through Central Park a few years back, and which I found very interesting and evocative. The waterfalls were nice, but with all the things to look at surrounding them - the Brooklyn Bridge included, they seemed like just another blip on an already full landscape. The bright orange gates dotted throughout Central Park in the bleak winter landscape totally and completely changed the way the park looked, and both walking through them and looking at them from a distance were really effective. I wouldn't kick these waterfalls out of bed for eatin' crackers, but I probably wouldn't ask them out for a second date either. Below is a photo of the Waterfall under the Brooklyn Bridge, and a photo I had taken of The Gates. See how the Bridge kind of dwarfs the waterfall, but the gates really enhance the park? No offense waterfall artist guy - I'm sure you're really sick of being compared to a totally non-related art installation.
The waterfalls became even less exciting when I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, the next stop on today's journey, because the bridge itself is so totally awesome - and by awesome I mean both great and large, and also cool and rad. The structure of the Bridge is so beautiful to look at, and when framed with the views of Manhattan when you reach the Brooklyn side, it's totally breathtaking. I can't quite believe it has taken me this long to experience this spectacular and totally free wonder of my city, but I'll definitely be doing it again, maybe next time at sunset which I've heard is unbeatable.
The day finished with a rather long (and somewhat lost) walk through Brooklyn until we located Montague street (thanks to Georgia who grew up in Brooklyn, and who I called because I didn't want to walk all the way to Queens by accident), a lovely little street in Brooklyn Heights filled with restaurants and shops, where we sat down in a cafe for dinner and beers. I enjoyed today so much that it made me feel really good about my decision to fill July with newness because new friends and new experiences make new beginnings, which make me feel hopeful and alive. Not that I'm normally depressed and dead, but you know what I mean.