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New Yorkers are a disaffected bunch; in public they can seem blind to their surroundings, always fiddling with a BlackBerry or iPod and at all costs avoiding eye contact. Yet line Central Park with miles of orange gates, or install some temporary man-made waterfalls on the East River, and these urban dwellers shed their recalcitrance and become positively giddy.
Passersby look and point and smile and even--wait, is that stranger asking me for my opinion? From June through October last year, I found myself transfixed and grinning every evening after work as my train emerged from the New York underground to cross the Manhattan Bridge, passing one of Olafur Eliasson's 100-foot towers of cascading water, all lit up so the water looked a fluorescent blue or purple. In these moments, these pieces were extraordinary; they broke up the monotonous and sometimes oppressive nature of city working life.Share on Twitter Share on Facebook