The problem with being what I am going to call a ‘backward blogger’ – meaning that I mainly write about things that have already taken place, is that I spend a lot of time gazing enviously at web pages and pictures, wishing that I had been there at that time. This installation is a case in point – a magical, Charlie and the chocolate factory-esque, sugar-coated series of cavernous balloons teetering on the New York skyline. ‘Rainbow City’ is an environmental installation designed to encourage visitors to interact and explore this intriguing tangle of fantasy and the inner-city, in celebration of the opening of the 10 block long Section 2 of New York’s High Line in June this year. This NYC creation is the third to stem from a partnership between AOL and ‘Friends with you’ – a glorious, smile-spreading creative start-up from Miami with a mission to sprinkle “magic, luck and friendship” around the world and, along the way, inject it into some global brands. In other words, my dream job.
However, rambling over – wishes for kids and adults alike came true, when this inflatable playground/oddity of 40 colourful, helium-fuelled characters made roots in a 16,000 square foot lot on 30th Street and 10th Avenue in the Chelsea art district, right next to the newly-unveiled extension to the High Line. Visitors were then able to unleash their inner and outer child by spinning, bopping, bouncing and even entering the hovering, swaying spectacles. As Friends With You founder Sam Borkson admitted to Creative Review – Rainbow City is all about enabling New Yorkers to slow down, enjoy their environment and “really open your mind and open yourself, your friends, and the people around you to something new.” Something, here in London, we could also learn from. However, whether I would actually slow down in such a place is quite another matter.