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Gazing Globes at Madison Square Park

The last couple of days, it has finally been warm enough for me to leave the building without my coat! To take advantage of yesterday’s fine weather, the Lady and I paid a visit to Madison Square Park. Located just north of the famous Flatiron Building, this park is usually suffused with the smell of grilled hamburgers from the original Shake Shack (the Lady says she remembers when Shake Shack was just a hot-dog cart in this park). But with the restaurant closed for renovations, the air was crisp and hamburger-free for our visit.

In addition to a busy slate of concerts and other events during the summer months, Madison Square Park hosts a year-round art installation program called Mad. Sq. Art. The current installation, by artist Paula Hayes, is called Gazing Globes. The Mad. Sq. Art. website describes the piece:

The work features eighteen transparent polycarbonate spheres that hold the remnants of contemporary culture, including up-cycled radio parts, industrial materials, acrylic wands, and other pieces of vintage technology sprinkled with fairy dust made of pulverized CDs.

As we entered the park from the southwest corner, the installation was right in front of us:

Gazing Globes by Paula Hayes

All those smooth, white pedestals were terribly enticing. I was tempted to add my signature to a few of the pieces, but the Lady said it would be highly inappropriate for me to mark the art.

Albert with Gazing Globe

Here I am restraining myself.

There were plenty of other humans about enjoying the outdoor art, some taking selfies in front of the globes. We are not sure whether these selfie-takers were ruminating on the ephemeral nature of technology while they posed in front of the compositions of shredded tires and radio parts, but no doubt they at least appreciated the way the pulverized CD dust sparkled in the sunshine.

Gazing Globe by Paula Hayes

Gazing Globe detail

We enjoyed our daytime visit. But, having seen a friend’s photo on Instagram, the Lady decided that to really appreciate this work, it’s probably best to go at night, when the globes are illuminated from within, creating an otherworldly scene:

The Empire presides over the glass bubble art installation in the park. 9:45pm, 3/7/15. #lookingup

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Albert the Dog at the park

After all that art, I was ready for more exercise. Madison Square Park has a spacious (by Manhattan standards) dog run. The ground was still covered with melting ice and slush, so I spent a good deal of time hopping up on the benches.

If you are in New York and would like to see Gazing Globes, the installation will be up through April 19th, 2015. Now that the weather is warmer, we are looking forward to combining more exercise and art appreciation sessions this spring.

Look, but don't pee.

Madison Square Park is located between Broadway and Madison Avenue from East 23rd Street to East 26th Street.

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27 thoughts on “Gazing Globes at Madison Square Park

  1. What a wonderful combination — art and exercise! Feeding mind and body. You should definitely return in the evening to see the globes glowing. And I must praise you for your restraint. I can tell you my brother Sherman would not have managed such a feat. You are a canine of impeccable manners, Albert.

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    • Thank you, Carol. It’s so much easier to enjoy what the city has to offer when I don’t feel as if my paws are going to freeze. You give me too much credit, though–it took repeated warnings from the Lady for me to hold off from adding my signature to the artwork.

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  2. The Bean says ‘domage’ that there were no whiffs of burger and is highly impressed at your fortitude in resisting lifting the hind paws on those white posts. As for me, not being a dog, I am really taken with the installation … what a great idea for park art!

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  3. Well Albert, it sounds like you had and absolutely lovely time! We had a similar “art in the park” in a village that I walk in on a regular basis, it was all very inspiring although for now, i shall stick with my favourite ball. Your friend Archie Woof!

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  4. Congratulations on the restraint and for getting to say goodbye to your snow booties for now! (Jasper was very happy when I put his away after making him wear them for two weeks straight.)

    The nighttime picture is great! I wish we had art-in-the-park like that here. You’re lucky you live in New York, Albert.

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