New York’s Artful Surprises

In New York, it can be easy to hibernate this season. Conquer FOGO (fear of going out) by exploring the plazas and parks for artful surprises. 

Courtesy Alex Ayer photos, Diversity Pictures

Broadway between 37th and 38th

The “Iceberg” in the Garment District is melting. When humans pass through the installation that envelops a pedestrian walkway, motion sensors set off lights and a trickling water sound—a statement on the fragility of our relationship with nature. Created by ATOMIC3 and Appareil Architecture, in collaboration with Jean-Sébastien Côté and Philippe Jean, Iceberg will only be around till February 24th.

Courtesy Flickr/ dbnorton photo

Opposite Wall Street’s iconic Charging Bull

Don’t mess with “Fearless Girl.” That’s what the bronze statue by artist Kristen Visbal seemed to say. Her hands on hips, she faced “Charging Bull,” the famed statue and symbol of Wall Street and its Bowling Green Park. The nearly 4-foot tall FG has recently taking her obstinate charm elsewhere, about three blocks away, closer to the entrance of the New York Stock Exchange building. 

Courtesy Poetry Jukebox/ Jiri Duzar photos

6th Avenue and Christopher Street

What exactly is that giant yellow submarine doing in the Ruth E. Wittenberg Triangle in Greenwich Village? That is, in fact, no sub but The Poetry Jukebox. From it emits the voices of Village poets, songwriters, novelists and activists reciting their words. 


Madison Square Park

The circular reflecting pool at Madison Square Park, normally empty this time of year, is cupping art. It’s one of the sculptures that is part of “Full Steam Ahead.” Other human-sized pieces are scattered nearby, including remnants of a lion’s head and paw, a bird’s colossal feather, and tree-like sculptures and branches in cast iron. The artist, Arlene Shechet, says her hope was to delight and surprise. “New Yorkers rely on the sidewalks, the pavement, and the street as the core of their urban lives. Full Steam Ahead becomes a lively and human amphitheater, softening the hardscape through sculptural intervention evocative of 18th-century garden landscapes.”