the gates and neighborhood parks

the gates are a success. even Starquest has concluded as such. even if from the ground they may look like some odd home depot shower curtain promotion (i suggest going at dusk, when the sun is lower and the gates look less like hazard orange; also the lamps peeking through the panels are a visual treat). and of course, this being new york, there are the inevitable spinoffs - both edible and minature.

while it probably doesn't beat the view from various multimillion dollar central park perimeter penthouses, i'm sure the folks up at the space station are suitably impressed, given that the Gates are visible from outer space. i'm sure they have better optical sensors too.

Steve Colbert from the Daily Show considers the Gates a prime example of how $21 million can be used to decorate a bike path.

if only our public spaces were really funded to the tune of millions! sadly, such princely sums are typically reserved for mayoral pet projects and iconic parks, especially when they are privately raised as the funding for the Gates was. consider that $21 million is approximately 10% of the annual operating budget of the entire New York City Parks department to take care of every neighborhood park and playground. the FY06 mayor's preliminary budget proposes a $10 million (5%) cut in parks funding. take the time send a letter to bloomberg here. writing a letter to a politician actually works, especially if enough people do it - you're taking up their valuable staff time in just the processing of these things - they pay attention to what you write in about.

the Gates are a good thing and the more public art the better. let's just not forget about the small gems in our neighborhoods. you know, the ones where the tourists don't blindly walk into you, because they aren't there in the first place.


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