nyc sometimes showcases public art installations all around the city. Some examples of this include the gates, the waterfalls, and the cow parade. The latest exhibit consists of pianos (60 of them) called "Sing for Hope." I definitely wanted to see some pianos, since they were only here for two weeks. Naturally it made sense to combine running and art browsing in what I've come to call "The Piano Run." jb24 was excited to join me and together we ran about 9 miles all over the city and saw 12 pianos. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day when we set out on our tour. Of course, our run had to be documented with photographs. So if you haven't yet checked out "the pianos" hopefully these pics will give you a glimpse into the project and our experience.
First Piano: The Met (but really Cleopatra's Needle). Here it is with the museum in the background. A nice man took our picture and I humored him with a rudimentary version of "Heart & Soul." Second Piano: The Central Park Bandshell. This one was a short jaunt down the mall, where we stopped for a brief photo.
Third Piano: Lincoln Center (#1). Lincoln Center is like a music mecca, so there were four pianos in the vicinity. I was able to capture the title of the art piece "Play Me I'm Yours" which was written on the bench. Though we took several pictures, we didn't linger too long, since we knew there were others to find. Fourth Piano: Lincoln Center (#2). Finding the pianos was sometimes like a game of "Where's Waldo." Even though I had studied maps of their locations, they were often tricky to find. Basically, we'd run around and keep our eyes peeled for a colorfully painted instrument. When we found this one, a lady was playing fourth of july themed tunes and we couldn't help but dance a little (ok, maybe it was just me and the kids who were dancing, but she was good!)
Fifth Piano: Lincoln Center (#3). We didn't think we'd find a third, but as we turned the corner and looked around, there it was! This one had the "Sing for Hope" sign painted on the side, so I got a close up. Sixth Piano: Merchants Gate/Columbus Circle. Most runners are familiar with this area because it is about mile 26 of the marathon, just before you turn into the park for the last .2. We easily found the piano here (it seemed to get easier once we knew what to look for).
Seventh Piano: Times Square - 46th street. Broadway is a busy street, especially the part that goes through Times Square. We had to be careful crossing streets and we were constantly mindful of cars, tourists, pedestrians, bikes, and anything else moving around (pigeons, etc). But we found our piano and played a few notes.
Eighth Piano: Times Square - 42nd street. This one was right in the heart of Times Square and had a passionate musician perched on its bench. This guy played "Changes," originally a Davie Bowie song but one that will always remind me of Tupac. He was pretty good so we stayed a bit for the show. Next up, not a piano. The pianos weren't the only public art exhibition we enjoyed on this run. The Fashion Center allowed designers to dress mannequins in their signature style, which made for a nice sidewalk catwalk. We liked this patriotic one for the Fourth of July.
Ninth Piano: Herald Square. We found this piano right in front of Macy's Department Store. Since it was pretty busy, we took a quick pic and moved on.
Again, not a piano: This picture was taken just to illustrate these nice bike lanes that one can run down if one is mindful of bikes. Cyclists were scarce during this particular time of day, so we had obstacle-free running, even down busy streets!
Tenth Piano: Chelsea Market. This was the only indoor piano we saw. It was located inside Chelsea Market, which is a fabulous place to visit for tasty treats and unique crafts (also superb knife sharpening on Saturdays!)
Eleventh Piano: Chelsea. We couldn't help but notice that this piano was a little more loved than the others. The ivories revealed that this piano was more than gently tickled, but it still sounded pretty good. Twelfth Piano: Gansevoort Street. This piano had motorcycle helmets and ornaments decorating it. After these people left, we were able to get a close up of an ornament (and snoopy).
The last piano was supposed to be in Madison Square Park, and we looked all over the park for it. After asking a park employee, we found out it had been damaged and removed. Sadly, we did not get to see our last piano.
Our last stop was Shake Shack -- despite being a weekday and before noon, we still had to wait in (on) line for 45 minutes. The jury's still out on whether or not it's worth a repeat visit. The shack burger is pretty good (as anything would be after nine miles) and the shake was refreshing on a hot day, but it does require a significant investment of wait time (not to mention a serious calorie burnage prerequisite!) . Regardless, it was the perfect end to a really fun run! Special thanks to jb24 for humoring me and providing great company! Long live the public art exhibitions! and Happy Fourth of July!!