4. East River Roundabout
Photo courtesy Alice Aycock (there will be way fewer people there than at this event above).
Right on the East River sits a mysterious roller coaster-like structure that many New Yorkers know little about. The sculpture, titled East River Roundabout, sits atop a former waterfront garbage transfer station and was creative by Alice Aycock in 1994. Supposedly, the sculpture was inspired by the weightlessness of Fred Astaire’s dancing. Recently, the public plaza where her piece is displayed was restored in 2018 by NYC Parks through the Municipal Art Society Adopt-a-Monument Program. and features new grass and plantings, tables, and chairs.
Aycock described her project as an “opportunity to galvanize this extremely dynamic situation, calling attention in a dramatic way to the visual forms of movement inherent in this very active place. The Roundabout is a theater around which New York City enacts itself. And the viewer becomes a spectator in the play of the city as well as an actor in the spectacle.”