Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Precedent for The Gates?

Walking around Central Park last night, I finally realized what The Gates reminds me of. Just outside Kyoto, there's a Shinto shrine (Shinto is the native Japanese religion, it coexists with Buddhism) called Fushimi Inari Taisha, where it's been a tradition for centuries to donate a gate (called a torii) to the shrine in thanks for good fortune. The bright vermillion
gates are set up along paths that wind up and down a hillside behind theshrine itself. The effect is very dramatic, and in many ways strikingly similar to The Gates, minus the fabric, anyway.

See this link to for a description and some photos of Fushimi Inari Taisha. This blog entry has some great photos too. I wonder if Christo and Jeanne-Claude have ever been there...


aerial view 2: Gates and skates

Looking down on Wollman Rink.

Photograph by Harvey B. Silikovitz, taken on February 9, 2005.

aerial view 1

with the Time Warner Center and the Trump International Tower in the background.

Photograph by Harvey B. Silikovitz; taken February 9, 2005.

Blog Coverage in Today's NY Times, Wired

The blog got a nice boost in site traffic today because of references in today's New York Times and Wired magazine. Wired even featured some of the photos posted on the site. Hopefully the press will help send more contributors to the site as well.... -ac

Near the Pool at 102nd Street

More photos at

Post a Voicemail to the Site!

Hi everyone,

The posts to the blog have really been great. I love all the photos - keep 'em coming - and the discussion thread about the value of public art has been fascinating.

I just want to remind everyone that you can all post voice messages to the blog. I've set it up so that you can call a phone number, record a voicemail, and have it posted automatically to the site.

Here are the instructions for posting voicemail to the site. Give it a try when you get a chance!

1. Dial 1 - 661- 716 - BLOG (2564)

2. Enter the telephone login 212-555-1212

3. Enter the PIN code 2005, then the # key

4. Record your message, then hit the # key when you're done

5. Press "1" to post your recording to the website

I really hope that some of you will copy down the instructions and post messages from Central Park - it would be wonderful to capture the sound of the crowds, the trees, the wind.

Hope to hear from of you soon.... -andy

The emperor has no clothes.

For years I have watched with amazement at the attention this artist
Isn't there one person out there who is also stupefied by the utter
banality of these projects?
I know the size is the point, but the this rampant, "just because I can"
justification that screams out from these absurdities strikes me as just
so misguided.

I know he finances it himself, and I know he has the right to do what he
wants with his dough, but damn I could think of a lot better things one
could do with $20 million bucks.

I have been watching it go up in the park for weeks. Still willing to be
converted when they are unfurled. But I am skeptical.

Isn't anyone else?

Dutch Gates Site

your Gates Blogspot is great.
As a volunteer far away from
New York

I make at home in
Ghent, Belgium,
the Dutch Gates site.
Your site has a nice link on my
Have a look to the Dutch site:


Greetings from Ghent

Do You Yahoo!?
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At Last!

Way back when Christo and Jeanne-Claude first wanted to do this, my dentist (and his?!) Richard Stern gave me a postcard he had gotten of the proposed design…I have held on to it (along with the postcard for the Pont-Neuf wrapping) and at last I am going to see their dream come true ! Can’t wait!


Annette Shear

Bridal Consultant

Tiffany & Co.

Telephone: 212/605-4170

Fax: 212/605-4356



The Spirit of the Gates

Hello Andy,

We would like to let everyone know about an event in conjunction with Christo’s Gates. We would be most appreciative if you could post it on your website. Thanks so much.

Spirit of the Gates
Monday, February 21
2:00-4:00 PM  
Free Meet at 72nd Street and Fifth Ave.   
Presented by the Interfaith Center of New York, the Tricycle Foundation and the NY Buddhist Council   

In the spirit of fellowship, Buddhist monks dressed in their traditional saffron robes and leaders from diverse religious traditions will lead a silent meditative walk beginning on the east side of the park at 72nd Street, heading north, circling around the Great Lawn through the saffron veiled walkways of Christo’s Gates. The Gates will only be up for only 16 days in February and this is a wonderful chance  to experience this special event. The procession will end with a short interdenominational service at 72nd and Central Park West just before 4:00 PM.   
Seiko Susan Morningstar
Development Associate
92 Vandam Street
New York, NY 10013
212-645-1143 EXT 220

orange tunnel

The gates appear as an orange yet transparent tunnel, linking the Loeb
Boathouse and Bethesda Terrace.

Photograph by Harvey B. Silikovitz, taken (as were all of my photos
posted here so far) on February 8, 2005. Please do not re-use without

Photos - Tuesday Feb. 9

There is already a palpable sense of energy and enchantment in the
park. An unexpected feeling is one of community. The gates seem engaged
in a stately dialogue with each other, and strangers stop and talk in
wonder about the artful aliens in their midst.

Please credit photos to Scot Surbeck

early installation preparations

Written Jan. 21, 2005-just found this site today.

We have been watching from our window with some interest the installation of the supports for the gates and what I now find are orange place markers, marching up the stairs at Strangers Gate like implacable orange samurai.

Last week on that marvelously warm foggy night we ducked into the Park across from the Dakota, taking the long way home.

I note with approval the absence of supports (at least at that time) in Strawberry Fields. It is wrapped in its own saffron veils, though I think John would have loved it.

We considered (my husband went to MIT, after all) the composition and weight of the palettes, and the need for a design that would make them easy to stack and place, yet worthless as bookshelves. And, as the snow outside falls, the matte gray tops of the palettes takes the snow as smoothly as the matte gray boulders along the walkway that sweeps down from the Great Hill.

The orange cones now clearly have nothing to do with the odious traffic cones that at first glanced they resemble. No, these are small Eiffelian lattice-works, tiny towers dressed for hunting season.

They are, indeed, orange. But something has to hold things up and it can't collect either wind or moisture and people must under no circumstances either fall on them or steal them.

We can't imagine how they'll keep the gates from blowing away or becoming torn (and if they have so much sturdy fabric, don't people need sarongs?) but then that thought of saving tsunami victims gave way to mental projections of the sensation of being enrobed in this project when it is completed.

We walked up the path next to the lake and imagined the gates installed about us, billowing sails of gold, and I almost hummed with the prospect of such joy.

Cristo and Jeanne-Claude have wrapped other places. This time, it seems, they are wrapping the people of New York City as they walk these paths. I, for one, can't wait!

Parsons McComb

The gates!

Good morning,

Congratulations on another memorable installation. I had a friend who
flew over the pink islands in Miami, and he said it was something he
would never forget. Although I will not actually see the gates in
Central Park, I see them in my imagination, and they are beautiful. I
am a painter, and I studied your work at university. I have followed
your work over the past years and I admire your energy and your

Thank you for all your fine efforts.

Best wishes,

Fran Barrineau
Ashburn, Virginia

some of the gates are wider than others

photograph by Harvey B. Silikovitz

up it goes

photograph by Harvey B. Silikovitz

a work in progress

photograph by Harvey B. Silikovitz

photographs: the raising of the Gates

copyright Harvey B. Silikovitz, February 8, 2005.

Please do not use these images for any purpose other than posting on the blog.