While this may be fascinating for some, I prefer to find refuge in the public green spaces that exist in New York. Recently I walked through the Ravine nature trail in Prospect Park in Brooklyn with a friend, and saw the Fallkill, Ambergill, and Binnen Waterfalls for the first time. I then looked up other waterfalls in NYC and found, unsurprisingly that I am not the only one to do this since the public art project opened, and a list of the city’s waterfalls listing was printed in the NY Times. It included everything from other human made waterfalls in parks, to art installations, and just plain leaky pipes.
This list prompted another article in the Times in response to the description of the so called natural looking waterfall in Morningside Park. It describes how the waterfall is in fact not a naturally occuring phenomenon. Colombia University once attempted to build a gym in the park which was protested by community members and students. The project failed and was abandoned, leaving a hole in the rock face. In a renovation in the park in the 80’s the waterfall was constructed to cover up the damage. To me this is an interesting example of how a battle over an attempted privatization of public space and subsequent destruction of the environment was remedied. While I am willing to suspend disbelief as I gaze upon a waterfall, wanting a few moments of relief and beauty, I can’t disregard the reality. We made this thing.