Nelson A. Rockefeller Park

There are tons of beautiful parks throughout New York City .   Nelson A. Rockefeller Park,  located in Battery Park City,  is one of my favorites.   Nelson A. Rockefeller was  the son of John Rockefeller Jr., who built  Rockefeller center.  Nelson  served     four terms as governor of New York  from 1959 till 1973 and later was appointed as   the 41st Vice President of the United States   under President Gerald Ford .
Battery Park City is  the newest neighborhood in  New York.   


Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1966  created a plan to  restore the area using  the  land  from excavation of the World Trade Center site.   Battery Park Esplanade is a  strip of riverfront parkland and perhaps one of the greatest New York City parks.  The Esplanade  is somewhat of a "superpark” with  sport courts, playgrounds and park,   constructed on  the edge of the lower Manhattan.  Nelson A. Rockefeller Park is located at the northern end  of the Battery Park Esplanade. 

 The park combines  views of the Hudson River and Statue of Liberty, a waterfront promenade, a wide green lawn  and an open air permanently installed art exhibition, that is open year around and is free for everybody.  
The Real World, by American Sculptor   Tom Otterness ,  is an odd little universe installed in 1992 in Rockefeller Park's playground.   Otterness is  best known to New Yorkers for his 2002 Life Underground installation, which is located in the 14th Street – Eighth Avenue New York City Subway station  on the A C E L services.   I already wrote about  his sculptures  in subway in one of my posts.   Tom has completed major outdoor commissions not only in US,   but in  Canada, Germany and the Netherlands.

Park in Netherland
Park in Netrherland

When I was in  Netherlands , I found  Otterness sculptures in  the Hague, on   the boulevard in Scheveningen,  called Fairytale Sculptures by the Sea. These 23 sculptures  became a reality as per the initiative of the Museum Beelden aan Zee  -  the only institution in the country focusing fully on modern and contemporary sculpture.  


 The Real  World in Nelson A. Rockefeller park  is one of the Otterness's earliest public art works.  In 1990 New York Times wrote : "With his commission for the north park of Battery Park City, Tom Otterness has reached a new plateau. The opportunity to make sculptures for children and adults to live with  in a public space has helped him focus the playful, sinister and allegorical impulses of his work".


In one of the interviews with the artist correspondent ask Tom :  Your work is displayed all around the world, Which of them top your list?  And Tom  answered:  "Battery Park is the most important for me, and then its the 14th Street subway station. I guess because I get to see them all the time. And the one in Netherlands, its huge".


The artist said :   “Sometimes public art functions as an excuse for strangers to talk to one another, through the art. We don’t realize how few places there are where it’s acceptable to talk to people you don’t know. Children facilitate that naturally.
 His latest exhibition was  part of the huge multimedia project  "The Value of Food"  in the Cathedral  of St. John the Divine  - you can read about  it in one of my posts.