February 23, 2005
'The Gates' Revisited
Despite my previous claim that "The Gates" is close to being completely horrible, I went back to see it again this past weekend. This time, I entered the park through Harlem Meer (at 110th and 5th) and my reaction was much more positive. Maybe I was able to appreciate it after I got the player-hating out of my system. Or maybe up around the northern part of the park it just didn't have the crush of people that the below-reservoir parts had (there were less people up there on a Saturday afternoon then there were on a Tuesday afternoon below 86th). Or maybe the area around Harlem Meer is just an exceptionally beautiful part of the park (where I almost never go since it's so far up there).
Between my two visits, I more-or-less have seen every part of "The Gates" and the installation around Harlem Meer area is definitely the best. The gates worked well with the topology of the area and seemed to be placed less monotonously than elsewhere in the park. This last point I'm not sure, but that's how it appeared to me. I still don't think the project's that great overall, but at least I hate it less.
If you haven't gone out to see it yet, you should. Good art or not, it's still an interesting and impressive (in the sense that it was done at all) installation. You have a few days left to see it and make up your own mind about it. Make sure you enter the park through the Harlem Meer and avoid the crowd in the lower parts of the park.