The Christo/Jeanne-Claude Gates in Central Park, unfurled on Saturday, were stunning – absolutely beyond my expectations for them. (I spent a lot of time repeating the phrase, "THEY'RE EVERYWHERE!!" ad stupidnitum.) Walking beneath the flapping orange curtains, and watching a procession of other New Yorkers and visitors doing the same, had a way of underlining a simple act – ambling – with a kind of quiet dignity of which I'd never before been conscious.
However, I do have a concern unrelated to the project itself, rooted purely in the behavior I witnessed leading up to this event and, again, over the weekend. I wonder if we're living in an age when information is transmitted so rapidly and desperately that these gates may represent the first phenomenon for which the webblog entries were written prior to the event about which people posted. (like the Bob Hope memorial special that A&E surely had sitting on a shelf since 1996, seven years prior to his very timely death.) It was as if NYC-based webloggers anticipated the opening day, not for the sheer rush of the new, but because it would enable them to tick off "things to to blog" for Saturday, February 12th, 2005. To put it in perspective, I would say the opening day of The Gates had a comparative weblog index of:
That pre-emptive sense was almost palpable, as everyone's cameras – including my own – rushed to line up the ideal shot; the one that will be linked most frequently, that flash of orange that perfectly captures the blog-geist. Not to pat myself on the back too hard, but I must confess I think I took that photo. Sorry, Flickr.