Eliasson Waterfalls: Is That It?

Does the summer’s most anticipated public art project live up to the hype?

Photo from Brownstoner

Riding the B train over the Manhattan Bridge this morning, I was treated to a glimpse of two of Olafur Eliasson’s highly anticipated artificial waterfalls, which started spouting at 7 a.m. “Wow,” I thought. “Those are much, much less impressive than I expected.”

In my mind, I had pictured a huge, rumbling column of water seemingly pouring out of the sky into the East River. After all, this was supposed to be “one of New York’s most surreal dalliances with large-scale public spectacle” (New York) and “evoke the awe that led 16th-century European explorers to compare the New York shoreline to the Garden of Eden” (Mayor Bloomberg, via the New York Times). The reality was rather anemic: a thin sheet of water, with the massive tower of scaffolding behind it easily visible.

Am I just being jaded? Is the view more impressive from below? Are the waterfalls not pumping at full capacity yet? Weigh in with your own impressions by using the comments form below.

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