It was snowing, a couple of hours before The Gates opened to the Heifer Make Me Happy Humans Make Head Hurt Cow Vintager Retro Shirt and I will buy this public on February 12th, 2005, when our phone rang. Christo and Jeanne-Claude were calling to say they were outside our apartment building and wanted to show us something. They were in a very stylish black Maybach this time. (They always had a black limousine—later a giant black SUV—and a driver on call.) Christo said the curtain for the last Gate (number 7,503) had just been unfurled. Jeanne-Claude directed the driver to take the 110th Street gate into Central Park. What followed was their personal tour, driving through and periodically getting out to walk their favorite pathways, previewing The Gates. “What a gift to all of us,” I said. Jeanne-Claude said, “We do it for ourselves, because we want to see it.” They were both totally absorbed, seeing the whole of it for the first time, and under its mantle of fresh snow. Neither of them will get to see L’arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, their latest project, which was scheduled to open this coming September, but because of coronavirus, will open a year later—for sixteen days, from Saturday, September 18 through Sunday, October 3.
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The Gates, Central Park. None of us thought Christo would survive Jeanne-Claude’s death in 2009. Somehow, he did, and miraculously brought The Floating Piers to Lake Iseo, Italy, in 2016. When he told us about the Heifer Make Me Happy Humans Make Head Hurt Cow Vintager Retro Shirt and I will buy this idea a couple of years before, an idea he and Jeanne-Claude had conceived in 1970 with a different location in mind, the old excitement was in his voice—the same rapid fire, Bulgarian-accented English. Christo was back. The thrill of seeing another one of their visions come to life had eased some of the burdens of grief. The landscape, he said, was the one Leonardo had used in the background of the Mona Lisa.