The Gates, Central Park, New York

In February 2005, after twenty-some years of planning and delay, Central Park finally got its Gates. The Gates, in case you missed them, are more than 7,000 identical saffron colored upside-down U-shaped pieces of metal with a piece of fabric hanging from the top. Strung along the paths through the winter-colored greys and browns of the Park, these gates cut swaths of bright color that also moved in the wind. This extravaganza filled the park with zillions of strolling spectators... and filled New York hotels at a time of year they usually aren't. Thanks, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, from us -- and from New York tourist establishments. The Gates were quite a sight.

In this page, we'll take you through three parts of the Park: the north end, around Harlem Meer and the Meadows; the southern end, in a rainstorm; and the center, near 86th Street.

To get more information and a larger version of any picture, just click on it.

Central Central Park panorama

The walk from the subway to the park looked the same as always: stores, cars, pedestrians... and the row of trees that mark the eastern edge of the park. But just past the trees, the scene had changed:
5th Avenue at 109th
Looking in from 5th and 109th

Out in the open, the gates looked more like marching rows rather than orange blobs peeking through the trees:
North edge of Harlem Meer
North edge of Harlem Meer

Harlem Meer, the lake at the northern end of the park, would be so different without the gates around it:
A Gate and Harleem Meer
Man and child by Harleem Meer

The reflection of the gates in the waves was always interesting... and so were the gates in the wind:
Geese and gates (reflections)
Gates in the wind

Farther into the park, at the North Meadow, two rows of gates marched toward the west. Again, the wind brought the landscape alive:
Two rows of gates at North Meadow
Two rows of gates at North Meadow
Gates in the wind

At the south end of the park, a rainstorm made the gates look even brighter:
Gates and lamps in the rain
South end of park: gates, trees, buildings

We're at the west edge of the park, near 86th Street. Even when they're a small part of the scene, the gates still stand out:
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir and west side of park
West side of park from near 86th and 8th

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(These photographs are Copyright © 2005 by Jerry Peek. Much higher-resolution versions of most images, and many other images too, are available at Jerry Peek Photography. Photos are available at reduced prices, or free, for non-commercial use.)

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