The New York City Parks Department has over a thousand monuments and public art installations scattered across the boroughs. A great many of them are the sort you’d stumble across by accident as small treasures tucked away in parks. Now, for the very first time, the Parks Department has released a searchable, digital art map of all their installations, both permanent and temporary.
The map’s release was announced on Wednesday, July 27th by Parks spokesman Sam Biederman. He compared it to the recently-released game app Pokemon Go, and said that he hoped the map’s easy-to-use format would encourage people to go out and see how many of the public art works they could find on their own.
While the interactive map is mobile-friendly, there’s no app yet. Users can see what installations are nearest to them, and each pin on the map links to a brief description about the piece and its artist. Green pins are permanent pieces, white ones are temporary installations, with their dates of display included.
The map covers Staten Island, Long Island, and more. From “The Dance” in Conference House Park, Tottenville, to the Stephen Sabatini Memorial Plaque in Pelham Bay Park, Eastchester, there is art to be found in nearly every crevice of New York City.
Of particular note, near the center of the map, is Tim Clifford’s sculpture, “Monument to a Missing Island” in Randall’s Island Park. Sculpted in the shape of the pressure wave of an explosion, it commemorates the blast that eliminated Flood Rock (the low-water island and full-time impediment to East River shipping until its demolition in 1885). Nestled in a seldom-used park, it is exactly the sort of installation to which the map-makers hope to bring more traffic.
Like Pokemon Go and its treasure-hunting predecessor, Geocaching, the Parks Department wants users to get fired up about visiting as many spots on their new map as possible.