This past Saturday, October 1st, I drove down to Brooklyn to see “Nuit Blanche” or “Bring to Light.” It’s a contemporary night time art festival that takes place simultaneously with Paris, Brussels and Toronto.
“Nuit Blanche” is in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on the shoreline with beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline . It is a spectacle of site-specific light, sound, performance and projection by over 50 artists transforming streets, parks and warehouses.
I used to live in this neighborhood just before it became gentrified. This particular area, especially Milton Park, was nortorious for gang hang outs and drug busts. I am still amazed at the transformation every time I go back for an event. To be able to go to this neighborhood at night, bring my 10 year old daughter and not be worried about being mugged is quite a change.
When we arrived we drove by the main festival area looking for a parking spot. My daughter kept saying, “Mommy look! Look up at the eye in the sky!” I took quick looks but preferred not to run over pedestrians. When we did get over there on foot I finally saw a huge blinking eye projected onto the bottom of an old water tower. It definately had the feel of a wierd sci-fi movie; a lone eye searching around looking for you- following you from its ten story perch above. It was my favorite.
Another awesome display was the projection of dozens of climbing people going up the side of an 8 story building. There were some neon light displays and lots of images projected onto the old factory buildings.
There was a man laying in a wooden box that was lit up. There were open slats on the top of the box so you could look down and talk to the man inside. My daughter asked me why he was in the box. So I asked him , “My 10 year old wants to know why are you in the box?” He asked me , “Do you want to know figuratively or literally why I am in the box?” I said, “Both.” I liked his answer for the figurative reasons. He said,” I am in this box because I want to protect myself from being hurt by other people. I feel safe inside this box. When I am in here no one can hurt me.” The literal answer was about drinking a few hours before and suddenly waking up and finding himself inside this box.
This was really fun. I’ll definately be back next year.