Milkin' ManhattanPublished in the July 31st, 2000 Edition of NYL's InsideCI
If you happen to work at New York Life like me, Amoozon Rain Forest and Blue Moo may be familiar to you even if you do not recognize their names. They’re the two cows currently residing at 41 Madison Avenue on the corner of 26th Street directly across from the New York Life Building. Approximately 500 of their brethren (and sisters) have been put out to pasture throughout New York City, including all five boroughs. Designed by local artists and sponsored by NY businesses, the multi-colored cows are created based on themes reflecting local culture and have respectively playful names like Moo York City, Mooving On Up, Cow-moo-ter, Hot Dog Stand Cow, Cash Cow, Technicolor Dreamcow and Mooodama Butter-fly.
Part of the New York CowParade 2000, the summer long event has its origins in a place known for its cheese and dairy products, Switzerland. It originated to serve as both an unusual art exhibit to showcase the local arts community and drive business to their downtown retailers. The Summer of 1998 saw 400 cows and by the end of the year there were 800 in the City of Zurich.
A year later the event was adopted in the states by the home of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls. Local business retailer Peter Hanig was enamored by the Swiss version while on vacation and worked with the City of Chicago to adopt the concept in his hometown. The results were notable and the Mayor's Office proclaimed the unique exhibition of 340 cows to be the "largest and most successful event in the history of Chicago."
New York’s own parade officially began June 15th and runs through September 4th. Although scattered throughout the City, most of the bovine reside in Manhattan and are placed in groups at key locations such as Columbus Circle (5), Grand Army Plaza at the Southeast corner of Central Park (8), the Central Park Zoo (9), Rockefeller Center (8), Bryant Park (11), South Street Seaport (18) and Helmsley Way, the center of operations for the production housing over 70 cows on display inside and serving as the the warehouse where cows are built, stored and repaired.
The official CowParade web site is located at http://www.cowparadenewyork.com. Along with pictures of each cow, the site hosts a map locating each bovine, and a word document listing each cow’s name, artist, sponsor and exact location. Moreover, there is information on the other CowParades being held this summer in Stamford, Connecticut (67 cows) and West Orange, New Jersey (28 cows).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
BIG on samples and happy hour buffets, periodically declares he's giving up on cheese (might as well call him "anti-American" i know), LOVES his wife (remember, "wife" spelled backwards is "efiw"), is certain his son is destined to be known as "Enzo the Great," appreciates his "parents" more each day (in-laws included), still dislikes cats, greatest fear is mediocrity, has resigned himself to blatant self-promotion (hey! i amuse me), defies popularity by defining himself, and wants (would like) you to pay him lots (market-value) of money for his work.
No More Cheese PleaseEnzo's Ode to the Woes of Parent Pleasing
Suddenly I have no appetite for milk and cheese,
You see my poor ol’ father, good intentioned one
But I’ll tell ya, more than one cow is quite enough
We took pictures with bovine beauties galore
But I’ll tell ya….
Before Sunday, a cow was something savory to eat
And let my tell ya another thing…
I’m boycotting Boyden, Dairy Farmers and Land O’Lakes alike
‘Course there’s an exception better—than the kind sucked of leather-bovine
You see, reading Emerson, Thoureau, and Whitman never appealed to me
It’s all so simple, here I’ll explain…
Nature seems so silly when I can play in the soot
No, you can take your green grass and vast fields away from me
Born in the City, I’m bad and I’m Brooklyn bred
THE PICTURES: Sneak Preview
A Moooving Photomentary
of Enzo's CowXpedition
Copyright © 2000