This winter, in New York City:
“Park Here,” a pop-up park installed inside the Openhouse Gallery:
The floor covering is artificial turf, not sod …. The trees are plastic foliage stapled to wooden trunks. The sunlight emanates from light boxes designed to treat seasonal affective disorder. The birds chirp through a sound system.
Yet, “summer was just unfolding. Warm, happy people were peeling down to their T-shirts and soaking in the sunshine, while others were spreading picnic blankets and gazing up through the lush canopy of foliage. Some flopped down on the hearty carpet of green, curled up against one another and, lulled by the gentle chirping of birds, settled in for a nap.”
It’s not truly a park, at least not in any sense that the parks department might recognize; it is the simulacrum of a park, an indoor copy that in weather like this becomes more real than the city’s broad but dormant expanses. The pseudopark, which occupies the Openhouse Gallery through the end of the month and which is open to the public every day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., beckons visitors with a vibrant gardenlike environment and a warm, sunny glow (along with, at certain hours, food vendors).
Additional photos here.