Monday, 10 May 2010

Big Bambu, Big Drama and a Big walk home

(Part 1 of 3)

I am not a woman of few words as anyone who knows me will testify. I am a woman of too many words, both in the written and oral form.

However, sometimes, something happens so strikingly visual that words alone will not do enough justice. Big Bambu -the new rooftop exhibition at The Met museum-is just that, a creation lending itself more to telling the tale in pictures.

So as means of introduction to the visuals, here's as minimal a written introduction as I can muster:
Big Bambu is the brainchild of identical twins Doug and Mike Stern, who, with the help of a team of rock climbers have built a free standing structure made of fresh grown bamboo and tied together with just climbing rope.

It stands on top of rooftop garden on The Met Museum in uptown Manhattan. Work started in March and continues daily,  to take it from the current 25 foot high to more than 50 ft by the end of the summer. The best thing about it is you can take a guided walk through it on a pathway for no more than the suggested cost of admission. The worst thing about it is that you can't take a camera on the tour and you have to sign forms promising not to sue should you fall off and lose your limbs. Waivers aside, in this litigious world we live in, I am amazed and heartened that such a thing exists at all. Apparently we should be thanking Mayor Bloomberg  for 'making it possible' -it even says so on the tickets.

On a sunny May day last week our small group of ten gasped our way through the 30 minute tour, throwing out superlatives in awe: the baby blue skies tipping into the sea of trees, framing a 360 view of the Manhattan skyline. At one point a Saxophonist began to play down below in Central Park and I had to catch my breath through sheer pleasure. Even the guide getting slightly wanky about juxtaposition and dichotomy couldn't spoil it for me. The American said she was young and enthusiastic, so we shouldn't really judge. 

Too many words already. When I got down from the jungle in the urban sky, I took pictures. Here they are:

If you're still with me after all those pics, then you should know that from such a high, only a low can follow. Tomorrow, read what happened next in part 2- Big Drama...

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