Bloomberg: Brown Trees? Green Money!

According to the Mayor’s Office, the NYC Waterfalls brought $69 million in revenue to the city—greater than the initial estimate of $55 million—and 1.4 million people came to see them.  So they say.

“People didn’t buy tickets or pass through a turnstile to experience the Waterfalls, but this exhibition brought people to areas of the City they might not otherwise ever have visited,” said the Mayor, whose statistics also indicated that 23% of the viewers, including 44,500 New Yorkers, saw the Waterfalls on what was their first trip to the Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn waterfronts.

The numbers are from Audience Research & Analysis, who conducted visitor surveys at seven vantage points, as well as from figures reported by ferry boat operators.  Also accounted for were the hundreds of thousands who saw the Waterfalls as part of their daily routines.

On the cyberspace end of things, 512,000 people visited the website; more than 6,000 photos were posted on, 1,200 posts were made by individual and professional bloggers, and more than 200 YouTube videos of the installations were posted.

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  • Publius

    Mayor Mike: How about earmarking 1% of those extra millions in City revenue to fix the environmental damage that the salt water caused to the local flora.

  • Curmudgeon

    Publicus, are we talking real damage to city property or business losses of the River Cafe?

  • stefan

    typical of bloomie. the art was great cuz it made lots of dough. how coarse and mercenary can one get?
    the waterfalls were a mixed success at best, many hated it, it went on for too long, it killed trees and shrubs along the brooklyn promenade and goodness knows what other environmental damge they caused. I think they were an artistic flop, though you can’t argue with moolah. or with our mayor who is about to buy his way to a third term. unbelievable. I would like to have that demented artist build scaffolding spewing salt water in front of bloomie’s bermuda estate.

  • Publius


    I belive the trees and vegetation on the Promenade is city property.

    Not that the River Cafe’s loss of trees and vegetation isn’t equally, if not more important. Why should a private business suffer financial and/or property loss due to the waterfalls? If the City has made tens of millions in revenue directly attributed to the waterfalls, and it was a City decision to green light the project, the City could spare some money to compensate those adversely affected, whether public or private.

  • James

    First, I don’t believe that there was any lasting damage to trees or plantings. The salt the city throws down on the streets in any winter far exceeds the salt from the “waterfalls”. Try using some of that concern for the trees that line our streets and are subjected to chained bicycles, dogs and garbage. The manufactured outrage is just that – manother ufactured.

    Secondly, the River Cafe – a private institution sitting on a very valuable piece of public river property was just angry that the spray interfered with their hoity toity crowd!

  • Publius

    James: How can you use the past tense about lasting damage to trees or plantings, when the damage just occured? Do you see the trees and plantings coming back? No.

    Very valuable piece of property? Now it is, thanks in large part to the tenacity of the River Cafe’s owner. It took him 12 years to convince NYC just to lease him that piece of land, and he turned it from a run down area of town into an internationally renowned restaurant, which helped to lift up Fulton Ferry. It’s a private business that leases the land and ancorage it inhabits (meaning rents from the City). If you’re a renter, would you like your landlord to set up a structure that destroys your plants and trees?

    Hoity Toity crowd? Every been there? Hardly. It’s a nice place with good food, that’s somewhat expensive. Perhaps if the waterfall was killing the trees and plants in front of Five Guys, you’d feel more sympathy?

  • No One Of Consequence

    Being that Bermuda is an island in the Atlantic ocean and is regularly hit with hurricanes, I doubt that a salt-water spray would have much added effect.

  • spm

    Thank you Publius for your rational post. I don’t understand why so many of these posts devolve into needless criticism. The salt water spray (which, incidentally was supposed to be from fresh water but it was too expensive to do so they scrapped those plans and just used the salt water from the river) has damaged the trees and flowers on the Promenade, a public space. Not only that, but the flagpole which was initially all white is now a rusted orange color and there is rusting along the railings and fences. From what I heard, the plantings will grow back as long as the roots are not damaged, but the flagpole and other rusted metal areas need re-painting and I believe the city should handle that.

    James, salt “thrown down” on the streets, is just that, thrown down and not upwards at plants, flowers and railings not equipped to handle salt water. And as for the comment from No One of Consequence, again, the vegetation on Bermuda has lived with that salt water spray for centuries and is indigenous to that area.

    I’m with you Publius on some of the profits, however intangible, be given back to the community for repairs needed.

  • No One Of Consequence

    @spm, that’s exactly what I was saying

  • nelson

    Are these oil dericks going to be removed or do they stay to sparay another year?

  • Topham Beauclerk

    Publius, you’re quite right, the crowd at the River Cafe can hardly be characterized as hoity-toity; but the place is more than “somewhat” expensive. $100 per person, not including drinkies, ain’t cheap.

  • Andrew Porter

    In recent weeks, before the sudden onslaught of cold weather, I noticed that new leaves were growing on the trees that were denuded by the spray. So I feel the damage is temporary. We’ll have to wait until next Spring to see whether or not that’s true.

  • spm

    Someone must have been reading this blog as the flagpole has been painted and looks great!