I visited the Gates for the first time yesterday (for reasons that'll be contained in a different post). I do have to say - I was unimpressed. They're sort of ugly, neither as small and intimate as I had first through pre-installation, nor as large and grand as I had thought post-installation. The fabric only hangs around halfway down, meaning all but the tallest freaks of nature can walk under them without brushing them (and in most cases, aren't even tall enough to jump up and touch them). The downside, though, is that walking under the Gates is singularly unnoticeable. Sure, there's this big splash of
orange overhead, and behind you, and in front of you, but it's not particularly attractive, or peaceful, or anything. It looks fairly ugly from far off, and looks fairly ugly (although in a different way, to be fair) up close.
My mom says it looks like Central Park is under construction. I can't entirely disagree.
The kids were amused by them for all of 2 minutes before they didn't care any more, and honestly, that's about the amount of attention they seem to warrant. That's a lot of money ($29m, give or take?) to spend for something that's worth 2 minutes of attention. Even multiplying that by the estimated 4m visitors (is that right?), you're talking $3/minute for this. Ok, well, photo bloggers seem to be spending days, not minutes, taking endless photos. But I'm talking normal people. Ok, so there are probably going to be closer to 10m visitors to the gates, maybe even 14m, but I really can't see it breaking the $1/minute mark, which makes for a very expensive form of entertainment.