NYC view atop Columbus

September 20, 2012

By Shannon Stapleton

In my 15 years of living in the New York City metropolitan area I’ve probably passed by the Columbus Monument in Columbus Circle at least a 100 times. Whether it was the numerous Thanksgiving Day Parades, going to the Whole Foods at Lincoln Center for lunch or just walking into Central Park to be honest I never really took that much time to sit and enjoy the beauty of the Columbus monument and the surrounding fountain.

So when I was asked to cover the 810-square-foot living room atop the Columbus Monument art installation titled “Discovering Columbus,” by Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi, I thought where is that? On 72nd and Columbus or 59th? It really didn’t strike any visual bell in my memory.


That changed when I ascended up the elevator to the installation and saw the Columbus statue standing in a living room surrounded by chairs, a television set and some funky pink wallpaper. It was very surreal to be sitting in a living room elevated above Columbus Circle looking out at Central Park and down 59th street.

Living in New York you take a lot of things for granted that you walk by every day. Every now and then a hipster artist will find a way to take something fairly mundane and turn it into a wacky way of seeing the city from a totally different view. I welcome that experience and look forward to the next landmark or cityscape that can be exposed in a way not seen before.

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