A Carousolar Meandering

08/09/2011 in

GE Carousolar South Street Seaport
“Hey Jeremy,” Mike, our very own Owen for Business
(try saying that 432 times fast!), called to me. “I got an idea for your next meandering. There’s a merry-go-round at the South Street Seaport and I think it is solar-powered.”

As that was the best idea for a meandering I’ve had in a long time, I decided to make it happen.

I walked out of our building on the Nassau Street side, crossed the street and walked through Chase Manhattan Plaza. Every time I walk through there I wonder what it would be like to have Wi-Fi there (what can I say, whenever I am outside, I think about great places for Wi-Fi). I took a few minutes to enjoy the water fountain that is actually one level below (easy viewing for Chase customers and employees). It is called the Sunken Garden and was created by Isamu Noguchi. I also made sure to step over the plaque for David Rockefeller and under the sculpture, called the Group of Four Trees (have you ever seen pictures in the subway entrance to the 2/3 in the Chase building of when they were putting it together?). David Rockefeller himself asked the sculptor, Jean Dubuffet, to design a sculpture. It is made of “synthetic plastic over an aluminum frame, with a steel armature holding the whole piece together” according to the New York Public Art Curriculum site.

I exited down the steps from the plaza and made a left onto William Street and then a right onto Liberty and walked past Louise Nevelson Plaza (which I’ve written about before and wonder what it would be like to have Wi-Fi there) and followed Liberty to where it joins (and becomes) Maiden. As I walked I passed the Hot Clay Oven, Indian Fusion Grill, which I had never seen before. I love me some Indian food and will have to check that place out (it turns out they were mentioned previously on our blog).

At Water Street, I made a left and started walking uptown for a couple of blocks until I got to John Street. At the corner of John and Water I saw the cool chairs that make it easy to have a conversation with someone, and those big numbers on the side of 200 Water Street. It was created by Rudolph de Harak and it is a digital clock. Can you tell what time it is in the picture I took? Put your answers in the comment section below.

Numbers at John and Water

After that I headed toward the water on John and passed by the packed Imagination Playground (and some kids were playing with HUGE blue construction pieces) and a long line at the TKTS booth (remember that meandering?). The view from the playground, with the tall masts towering over the FDR overpass, is wonderful and makes it hard to believe you are standing in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world.

I crossed crazy South Street and heard the thumping of cars passing overhead as I walked into the South Street Seaport area. If I had a GPS it would have informed me,

You have arrived at your destination.

There in front of me was a white Merry-Go-Round — excuse me. It is not a Merry-Go-Round or even a Carousel; it is a Carousolar. The first solar-powered Carousel in the United States. It was created and built by General Electric (in the interests of full disclosure, this author owns shares of GE, but that in no way played a role in writing this meandering, except to be able to say, “in the interests of full disclosure.”)

It is not your typical Carousolar. First of all, there were six large solar powered arrays with six panels on each one around half of the 1936 model Carousel. Obviously, this is what powers the Carousolar. They also charge the Solar Charging Stations (which I tested and found wasn’t working until they turned it on for me), allowing tourists (and anyone else) to charge their phones.

Second, every horse and pole and bench and even the tent overhead is all white.

I learned many things, but didn’t feel in good conscience, after doing my due diligence and learning about the Carousel, I could give you a true portrayal of the experience without getting on for a ride myself.

So I got on line and found that I was not the only adult curious to check it out. In my professional experience, I found if you didn’t know it was solar-powered, you would never be able to tell. Of course, the emcee kept telling us interesting nuggets of information about solar power and the Carousolar so there was no way to forget it was solar-powered, but you catch my drift, right?

The Carousolar will be at the South Street Seaport through September 6 every day from 10 AM-9 PM and the ride is free.

After I dismounted, I left to walk up Fulton Street through the plaza, but when I crossed Water I saw this very strange sight (fishing anyone?). Once I had continued I then stopped off at Midtown Comics to pick up a couple of books for my kids.

I turned left on William Street and crossed through the plaza in front of Zeytunas and 59 Maiden Lane (wouldn’t Wi-Fi be nice here?) and then made a right onto Maiden Lane and a left onto Nassau until I returned to my building feeling a bit like a kid having ridden my first solar-powered horse and carrying two superhero comics.

You can see all of the photos I took on my meandering by visiting us on Flickr.

Tags: 59 Maiden Lane, Chase Manhattan Plaza, David Rockefeller, FDR, General Electric, Group of Four Trees, Hot Clay Oven, Imagination Playground, Isamu Noguchi, Jean Dubuffet, John Street, LM Meandering, Louise Nevelson Plaza, Lower Manhattan, Midtown Comics, Nassau Street, Owen for Business, Rudolph de Harak, South Street Seaport, Sunken Garden, TKTS, Water Street, Wi-Fi, William Street, Zeytuna

Related articles

Three Last Minute Mother's Day Plans Downtown
Three Last Minute Mother's Day Plans Downtown

Mother's Day is on Sunday, May 12. Here's what to do downtown.

LM Live Panel Explores New York City’s Growing Child Care Crisis 
LM Live Panel Explores New York City’s Growing Child Care Crisis 

Why is child care so expensive? Why are waitlists inevitable from the moment you're expecting? And what can be done to address this issue?

Photos: How New Yorkers Viewed the Eclipse Downtown
Photos: How New Yorkers Viewed the Eclipse Downtown

We didn't get totality, but downtowners still came out in droves to witness the sun-and-moon meet-and-greet.