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Remember Christo? Want an apocryphal tale about influences on Christo’s Gates installation of late winter 2005?

It all started when June K. came to town in 2003. Interesting vitals here on the vessel, Kosnac Floating Derrick’s first ever newbuild after 75 years on the sixth boro. Christo left the choice of color for his as-yet-conceptual project to chance: whatever the color of the first vessel he saw from the Brooklyn Bridge, that would be the color of his fabric. June K. passed first; hence the color choice, which he dubbed “saffron.” Central Park, he decided, would be an abstract model of the harbor, with the gates as channels for tugs, barges, and ships in the sixth boro. The rest is history. So imagine if Christo had seen a Reinauer, the gates would have been red & bronze. If he’s seen a K-Sea, they’d be mostly white… although Christo, being …uh, discerning… would call them “pearly.”

Last Sunday June K. took an afternoon tango with Mary Whalen, icon of Portside New York. Portside news here soon.

The dancers took their positions. The watchful captain oversaw it all and–when the strings were tuned and the music right–

June K. led Mary Whalen toward the Buttermilk, heads ‘n tails, they say.

Was Christo around watching? Might his next project involve wrapping all the bollards on all the bulkheads in saffron? Might he wrap the “waterfalls of New York City” in fabric he calls “June K. orange”?

June K. was not telling. The Christo rumors, I made them all up. “Pumpkin tug,” I overheard that.

More June K. here, here, and here.

Photos, WVD.

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April 2008