I passed by Columbus Circle a few times last month without realizing I was walking right below an art installation. Once I found out what was going on right above my head (a fake living room where the statue of Columbus can be viewed right at eye level), I headed up to the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle to get a free same-day pass to Tatzu Nishi’s Discovering Columbus.
When I tried to get passes online, they were all sold out for most dates and times, but after placing a call to the Public Art Fund, I was told I can pick up passes to enter the installation the same day on the 3rd floor Discovering Columbus information desk inside the Time Warner Center. Once there, they let you know if there are open spots. I got there at 3:00PM but due to maintenance to the installation, I was given a timed pass to enter at 4:00PM.
With about an hour to kill, I walked a few steps over to Bouchon Bakery (on the same floor) and picked up a hot chocolate and a sticky bun.
At 3:45PM, I walked across the street and a few minutes later, they allowed people to start a line in the roped off waiting area. At 4:00PM, the line started moving and I started walking up the six flight of stairs to the “penthouse apartment” where Columbus now resides. They only let up a few people at a time since there is a limit to the number of people inside the installation.
Once at the top, you are asked not to touch the statue and the books on the bookcase. And down a hallway, I entered the room…
The room, designed by Tatzu Nishi is set up like a modern living room with a flat screen TV, comfortable couches and a coffee table in the middle of the room with Columbus standing right on it. It’s actually really quite a sight when you first walk right in. This will probably be the only time you’ll be able to see the statue so close up. Check out the wallpaper by Nishi that was designed just for the space.
Aside from the statue, another reason to go is to see the amazing sights. You can look straight down busy avenues and as you’re leaving and get to the staircase landing, there is the fantastic view of the fountain, Central Park, and peeping through the trees, the Upper East Side.
The installation was origintally slated to end this week, but it’s been extended to Dec. 2nd.
LOCATION: Tatzu Nishi: Discovering Columbus at Columbus Circle | Intersection of Eighth Avenue, Broadway, and West 59th Street | Same-Day Passes inside Time Warner Center: 10 Columbus Circle, Third Foor | New York, NY 10019 | 212.223.7800
LOCATION: Bouchon Bakery at Time Warner Center | 10 Columbus Circle, Third Floor | New York, NY 10019 | 212.823.9366