Fake Park, Real Impact

An art gallery in New York City currently has an installation called Park Here, which is an indoor parkspace made up of fake grass, trees and sunlight.
January 17, 2011, 2pm PST | Nate Berg
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"It's not truly a park, at least not in any sense that the parks department might recognize; it is the simulacrum of a park, an indoor copy that in weather like this becomes more real than the city's broad but dormant expanses. The pseudopark, which occupies the Openhouse Gallery through the end of the month and which is open to the public every day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., beckons visitors with a vibrant gardenlike environment and a warm, sunny glow (along with, at certain hours, food vendors like Luke's Lobsterand Mexicue).


Image courtesy of Openhouse Gallery

It's no great feat of agricultural engineering. The floor covering is artificial turf, not sod, despite the example that "The New York Earth Room," just a few blocks away, has set for decades. The trees are plastic foliage stapled to wooden trunks. The sunlight emanates from light boxes designed to treat seasonal affective disorder. The birds chirp through a sound system."

For snow-addled New Yorkers, even a fake park has served the purpose of providing a place to go.

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Published on Friday, January 14, 2011 in The New York Times
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