|The Towers of Light proposal is back. Apparently the new mayor likes it. It has some aesthetic appeal, but many people living nearby don't want it. Neither do birders, since the skyward lighting is apt to confuse night-migrants. According to Rebekah Creshkoff, the technology is the old ceilometer system, once used for measuring cloud ceilings around airports. There is evidence that such lights have affected flocks in the past, and placing them near a lot of tall buildings on a major flyway is a bad idea, at least during migration season, which will be underway (though not at peak) before this proposal runs its course.
Not to mention the effects on astronomy. Light pollution is a serious problem.
Julian LaVerdiere has done some work that I like, and I would have to say that I favor this proposal--in theory, at least--over the various public art nightmares out there waiting to happen (big bronze firemen, chairs for each of the victims, recycled Richard Serra, anything picked by a committee). As for Battery Park City residents having to close their drapes at night: boo hoo, they should be sparing us their exhibitionism anyway. As for astronomy, C'mon, Steve, that's already a lost cause in Manhattan. So far the most compelling argument I've heard against the piece is Alex's: the one good thing Osama did was cut the birds who smashed into the towers some slack.
There is an organized Dark Skies movement, which shares ground with conservationists of many stripes. There is a light-pollution bill in the state legislature, but its prospects don't look too good. The governor claims he likes the idea, but costs and security concerns (evildoers lurk in the dark) are more important right now.
ruth and i saw julian and paul do a presentation on this...their big worry is that the project will be co-opted by various folks for symbolism which they (the creators) don't intend -- eg one proposal was to have the 2 light beams be red and blue, for firemen and policemen. as time goes by this co-option seems more, not less likely. so my own guess is that the project isn't going to happen. it would have been great if it had gone up during the first month; after that it seems less and less directly relevant and more ideological. although having it turned on for a week at the first anniversary, say, would make sense to me.
Speaking of cooption, it's now Tribute of Light, and it's getting closer.
The Post picks up on the bird angle. Supposedly there are some safeguarding compromises in the plan.
From the Times; looks like it's a done deal.
"Some family members of those who died worry that it will merely commemorate architecture rather than the victims and heroes. In part to assuage them, the title was changed from 'Towers of Light' to 'Tribute in Light.'"
In part? What was the other part? Perhaps that the current owner of the WTC property plans to rebuild actual, glass-and-steel towers, and didn't want people thinking that only a ghostly outline will appear on the site?
"Tribute in Light" sounds like "Holiday on Ice." LaVerdiere and Myoda should have withdrawn from the project, once the title and concept was compromised to that extent. Fame is a bitch-goddess.
One angry birdwatcher annotates the Times article.
"The installation will cost about $500,000 [what a tremendous waste of taxpayers' and
This is what birders were afraid of: this year’s Tribute in Light display coincided with a big migrant flight. Too bad for the birds. Here’s a report received from bird advocate Rebekah Creshkoff (a non-birder friend who saw the display thought that there was “glitter” in the light beams; that was birds.)
I was at the Tribute in Light briefly tonight, from about 10:30 to 11. I didn't see our volunteer Brooke, but I sure hope she or Eileen or Denise had/have a camera. I didn't, but what's going on down there should be documented.
These spam ads appear to return to posts that have spam ads, so I've been deleting them on my page...
I've been deleting them, but they still seem to return to the same pages. I think the "web crawling" and "comment spamming" stages of the incursions may be independent.