Spieling Around a Dry Fountain; Alice Tully Hall

dry fountain at Lincoln Center

At Lincoln Center yesterday, there was a graduation ceremony for Juilliard students. I found it odd they couldn’t turn the fountain on as part of the festivities — all those snapshots of parents and new graduates in their fine clothes and lint-free graduation gowns made lacklustre by some cost-cutting bureaucrat.

The refurbishing of Alice Tully Hall across the street is magnificently successful. Looking a little dangerous, right on the corner, a public bleacher with glass edges juts out of the sidewalk at a knife-like angle. Presumably, there will be pleasant jazz trios (avoiding hard bop and free jazz) performing at the base for lunchtime enjoyment. The roof that parallels over the outdoor bleacher now houses the new balcony area of the hall inside.

The glassed-in public lobby dovetails nicely with a Slavoj Zizek talk I heard recently. Zizek argues that new architecture for public performance spaces is a bonafide outreaching to different classes for dialogs in high-brow and low-brow culture. They have by necessity become these goofy institutional public/private spaces made special by good architects and well-meaning underwriters for the arts. Unfortunately, the café counter in this lobby only seems to be serving drinks and food directly before performances. (I could be mistaken.)

The hall itself is generally more woodsy than before and the acoustics are superior. I don’t like that the new seats lack a spring to make the seats raise by themselves when letting fellow patrons get to their own seats although the burgundy color works with the wood.

One thought on “Spieling Around a Dry Fountain; Alice Tully Hall”

  1. The fountain had water in it so I assumed it was working. However, I was at Lincoln Center last night and they’re still working on it. I apologize for the scolding. It looks like it’s going to be one of the most high-tech fountains in the world!

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