Up Close and Personal With Christopher Columbus

By Barbara Maranzani

There are few things New Yorkers enjoy more than a good real estate story. So it’s probably no surprise that a hot topic of discussion around here just happens to be one of the most unusual “living” arrangements the city has seen in recent years. It’s an 810-square-foot apartment—seemingly precariously perched atop six floors of scaffolding—that gives visitors a unique, up-close look at one of the city’s most well-known landmarks: the Christopher Columbus monument that presides over Columbus Circle. This weekend, I stopped by the recently opened art installation “Discovering Columbus” to see what all the fuss was about.

After waiting in line and climbing 60 feet in the air, visitors are rewarded with not only spectacular views of the city and neighboring Central Park, but also with a tour of a fully furnished “penthouse” apartment—that just happens to have a 13-foot-tall statue of Christopher Columbus as its centerpiece. This, of course, is the statue that has always topped the monument, but here it’s presented in a startling new way. The exhibition is the latest work from conceptual artist Tatzu Nishi, who has spent much of his career creating similar temporary living spaces around iconic structures worldwide.

Check out the slideshow below to find out more and see pictures I snapped of the exhibit, which is well worth checking out. It runs until November 18, and free tickets are available at publicartfund.org.

Categories: Christopher Columbus, New York City