The Mayor’s office is now insisting that this summer’s Waterfalls exhibition on the East River brought not the projected $55 million “economic impact” to the city, but $69 million. Their summary of the Appleseed/Audience Research & Analysis report isn’t very convincing, though we don’t doubt the city’s report that the ferryboat operators cleaned up. Sure, “hundreds of thousands” of spectators “viewed the Waterfalls” — you could hardly miss the damned things. But if, as the report claims, 79,200 of the viewers “were visitors to the City who, were it not for the Waterfalls, would not have visited or extended their visit,” we have to wonder what they thought after five minutes watching a sheet of water fall off a platform — maybe, “I came all the way from Tacoma for this? Let’s go see a Broadway show.” We suppose that’s good for the local economy, though if the city installs some volcanoes or something next summer, we doubt these visitors will tumble for it again. Maybe we should just send them to these.
We posted some other examinations of the waterfalls’ impact here.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 23, 2008