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All Things Brooklyn – Brooklyn Sting: When I Fall

Posted Monday, June 30th, 2008 at 6:06 pm by Jaime in Cultural Bees. More in 11201

This past Thursday, Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson’s “New York City Waterfalls” installation finally debuted. While there are a number of Circle Line boat tours operating on the East River, you can also see all four waterfalls from land in Brooklyn, if you’re willing to do a little walking. After the storms settled this past weekend, I set out on my own tour.

But before I go into more detail about that, here’s some background on the project from an unofficial website:

The New York City Waterfalls will be constructed using building elements that are ubiquitous throughout New York: scaffolding is the backbone of the structures, and pumps will bring water from the East River to the top; the water then falls from heights of 90 to 120 feet back into the river. Fish and aquatic life are protected by filtering the water through intake pools suspended in the river. To build the Waterfalls, Public Art Fund has partnered with Tishman Construction Corporation and has engaged a team of design, engineering and construction professionals.

The scaffolding has been up for a while now, so I knew where to look for the four waterfalls: under the Brooklyn Bridge (with the falls facing Manhattan), between Piers 4 and 5 in Brooklyn (west of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade), Pier 35 in Manhattan, and on the north shore of Governors Island. Where possible, the Public Art Fund has signs posted about the project at key vantage points.

My tour started in DUMBO’s Brooklyn Bridge Park, which gave me a clear view across the East River to the falls at Pier 35 (and yes, all pictures in this post are mine).

A five-minute stroll on the path through Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park to the end of the boardwalk brought me to the second waterfall, this one under the Brooklyn Bridge. Usually you can see the Statue of Liberty from the far end of the boardwalk, but the waterfall here actually blocked that view.

The most difficult part of my walk was ahead: up the hill on Everit Street to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. A building actually prevents you from seeing the Brooklyn Bridge waterfall from the Promenade, but if you walk towards the south end of the Promenade, you can see not just the waterfall at PIers 4 and 5, but the waterfall on Governors Island and the Statue of Liberty (a little tough to make out through the haze):

The New York City Waterfalls will be on display through October 13. They run from 7AM-10PM (but start at 9AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays), and are lit after sunset.

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