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Gods Park Bench

About this listing

Flat rocks at the geographical center of NYC with unparalleled views of Lower Manhattan

Place Details

Borough : Brooklyn
Open Space, Recreation, Gathering Place


Stephen Kaplin Nominated during the Asian American Art Alliances Locating the Sacred Festival

The jaw-dropping urban vista of Lower Manhattan framed by the two big spans is only one reason this spot is sacred. Here are some other reasons, in no apparent order.

- The place is situated on a unique crack in the city grid, where the tidal flow of the East River (actually an estuary) sweeps by in sync with Lunar gravitational pull, switching directions every 6 hours. Thus, it is a place to remind yourself of the Cosmic forces interacting with the liquid mechanics of our Earthly environs.

- The Geometry of Gravitational pull is diagrammed with great detail in the parabolic arches of the two great suspension bridges. The narrow steel ribbons hanging from the cables with such a brilliant distribution of downward energy have sustained the weight of subway trains, trucks, cabs, tourist buses cyclists and pedestrians for over a century without budging an inch!

- The place is at the geographical center of the greater New York City, if measured from the extreme southwest tip of Staten Island and the northeast edge of the Bronx. It is due south of the Empire State Building and due east of the World Trade Center site. During the latter part of the 20th Century, around the time of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the sun would set in the slot between the Twin Towers.

-I first became aware of the sacred nature of this spot in the early 1980s, at a time when the place was a vacant lot, fringed with rotting piers. My sister and her friends, who were among the first wave of artists to set up studios and live in the industrial buildings of DUMBO, would have big New Years Eve bonfires there. Since then the site has been civilized (the myrtle tree was planted in 2000 when Brooklyn Bridge Park was laid out). The energy of the place is apparent from the large numbers of wedding parties, saxophonists, poets, and young children congregating there, along with cormorants, dogs, rats and mockingbirds.

(August 2012)

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