Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Queens is the only park in New York dedicated to sculpture–specifically large-scale sculpture. What better place then for Jack Cesareo to bring his Giant Cupcake. Set against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline, the cupcake seemed right at home. As covered in an Untapped interview with Jack (who’s an artist with the Museum of Natural History), the giant cupcake is an art project, often photographed against iconic architecture in New York City.
Socrates Sculpture Park has an interesting history too. It is situated along “Hell’s Gate” or “Hellegat,” in Dutch, a narrow inlet between Astoria and Ward Island that led to many shipwrecks until the channel was widened by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1876. But by the 1980s, this area had become an industrial wasteland, fallow after the closing of the Marine Terminal. New York Department of Parks and Recreation proclaim that “the story of this unique park demonstrates how a community can organize to reclaim and create a positive public space.” Local sculptor Mark di Suvero came up with the idea to turn this spot into park for sculpture and his hardworking crew restored it themselves. It was named Socrates in honor of both the philosopher and the Greek community in Astoria. The non-profit’s mission stems from a “belief that reclamation, revitalization and creative expression are essential to the survival, humanity and improvement of our urban environment.”
The park space before:
Socrates Sculpture Park now:
32-01 Vernon Boulevard at Broadway
Long Island City (Queens), NY 11106