|Madison Square Park lawn, after the recent days of rain|
The cyclical return of the park to its late spring verdancy also finds parallel with its fashionability. After opening as a public space in 1847, Madison Square became the epicenter of Gilded Age New York. This desirable residential area for high society soon spawned the nearby Ladies' Mile shopping district, palaces of entertainment (like the old Garden), and many handsome towers of business. The Flatiron Building, constructed in 1902, still upstages everyone else, demanding attention from architecture paparazzi. Today, Madison Square has become the fashionable location for various high tech startups of the information age.
|The Flatiron Building, as seen from Madison Square Park.|
The park's current art installation, Pet Sounds by California artist Charles Long, while looking very much like a children's fanciful playground, evokes the sights and sounds of an imagined primordial past. Its curving candy-colored rails spill into bulbous, amorphous forms, and when touched at various points, emit metallic squeals, cries, and rhythms. In this art playground, it is possible to play the sculptures like instruments. Multiple petting gestures on the creatures can produce a soft jazz-rock fusion. Just don't climb on them, as the signs warn.
|Pet Sounds by Charles Long, a project of Mad. Sq. Art, continues through September 9, 2012.|
|Pet Sounds by Charles Long|
|Pet Sounds by Charles Long, with another famous NYC landmark in distance|
With each passing year, Shake Shack looks like an organic natural feature of the park. For more food options, explore the pop-up tented food court, EAT at Madison Square Park. From this vantage point, the Flatiron looks seasonably fashionable, flanked by floral Marimekko red and white umbrellas. So stylish.
|Madison Square EATS. The Flatiron Building with Marimekko umbrellas.|
• Read about other nearby buildings at the post, In Focus: The Metropolitan Life Tower, and learn about plans for the tower.
• By coincidence, the first trailer for the highly anticipated Baz Luhrmann film version of The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was released today. See it here at IMDb.
• Madison Square Park Conservancy
Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from the afternoon of May 22, 2012.