At the start of December, the media and blog worlds started talking non-stop about this swing exhibit at the Park Avenue Armory. The exhibit is called “The Event of Tread” by Ann Hamilton and is a huge installation with swings large enough to seat two adults. The swings are connected to a pulley systems so that when you swing, you pull the cables and it causes the large white sheets in the center to billow and move like clouds. The lighting is specifically designed to simulate daylight and contains the area of each swing. There are newspapers you can pick up as you enter explaining the exhibit and brown lunch bags laying around the floor that have speakers in them making random park like noises. Everyday a singer comes out on to a high balcony and sings, the song is recorded and played back the next day. I’m not gonna say that I got the who exhibit, because there were a few things I didn’t get, then again, it was the day after New Year’s Eve, but it was pretty awesome and was like being in a sort of surreal park. Melissa found out about it first and decided it would be an excellent way to celebrate her birthday. I couldn’t agree more and we bought tickets for January 1. My first day of 2013 was already planned and it was a great way to bring in the new year (and Melissa birthday!). We arrived in the late afternoon and the large space had a lot of people in it, but still didn’t seem too packed. We were able to wander around, take some pictures and found a swing with little trouble. Along with many other people, I enjoyed laying beneath the billowing “cloud” as it moved with every swings pull. The only time the squeak of the swings and chatter of people was silent was when the singer appeared on the balcony.
It was one of those perfect New York experiences that I know I can find in other cities, but will definitely miss the frequency of them here, even if I don’t go to them all the time. Melissa has said that she wants to do more new things, more New York things more frequently, even if it’s just trying a new restaurants and I intend to tag along for the ride. It will definitely help me work through my to do list and there is still a lot to do before I pack up and head out of town, which I fear will come faster than I think.