A little more about Albany's floating, burning tulip. Because we just had to know.

WaterFire Providence

A scene from WaterFire Providence in 2006

Like Nicki, we too were intrigued by the thought of a floating, burning tulip. It turns out that floating, burning art is sort of a thing right now.

As far as we can tell, the trend began in 1994, with environmental artist Barnaby Evans. Evans installed a floating, burning art exhibit in Providence, Rhode Island.
Apparently it was such a hit that Kansas City, Missouri and Columbus, Ohio commissioned Evans to create some floating, burning art for them too. The exhibits run for months and are accompanied by classical music. Kind of like Yanni with a lighter.

According to the Times Union, Albany officials approached Barnaby Evans about creating some floating burning art for our fair city, but the price tag was too high. So they're going a more economical $100,000 version. Don't think of it as cut rate floating, burning art think of it as floating burning art for a good value.

photo: Flickr user hlkljgk used under a Creative Commons Attribution / Share Alike license


WaterFire, in Providence, doesn't float. And it's also one of the coolest, most innovative things an American city has done to draw people back to the urban core in a long time....

Innovative would be the operative word here - I think that's Albany's problem. Several cities have already jumped on the band wagon, and to add a touch of irony - rather than commissioning the artwork for several weeks or months, we took the two-hour-light-it-on-fire special. Trust me, I appreciate the cool effects this surely promises - color, fire, water, heat - it's truly tantilizing. The question is, what will it do for Albany specifically? You need a safari-worthy Range Rover just to navigate the pot holes down Western Avenue, and we're spending $100,000 on a burning tulip.

Regardless, the much anticipated day has finally arrived.

Despite my sarcasm and skepticism, I will be at Washington Park promptly at 8:00 p.m. tonight to watch the tulip go up in flames. On second thought, maybe I'll be across the street on Madison Ave. After reading the description of how this is all going to go down, I think maybe standing back is a good idea. Perhaps I'll rub some of Dr. Z's Zel Gel all over myself too. Safety first.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.


Recently on All Over Albany

The week ahead

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (steamy), to the track,... (more)

An opinion on blood plasma centers, methadone clinics, a large logo, and other exciting tales of the Albany Planning Board

Exciting Tales of the Albany Planning Board is a program recorded before a live studio audience once a month in which the fates of multi-million... (more)

Exploring Washington County

The rural, rolling hills of Washington County are just about an hour northeast of Albany on a scenic ride along Route 40. The county is... (more)

Morning Blend

Next Albany police chief + Kathy Sheehan has appointed Eric Hawkins to be the next Albany police chief. He's currently the police chief in Southfield,... (more)

The Cornplanter pipe tomahawk

We got a chance this week to stop in the State Museum and see an interesting artifact that's newly on display, Cornplanter's Pipe Tomahawk. The... (more)

Recent Comments

... The theft itself of this important Native American artifact is an important part of its story. It's really a miracle that almost 70 years later that the Cornplanter pipe tomahawk ended up back at the State Museum, instead of remaining in someone's secret, private collection acquired illicitly, or even worse, not cared for professionally and therefore damaged, destroyed, or lost forever.

Exploring Washington County

...has 2 comments, most recently from Katie

Scanning that New York State Department of Health report that argues the case for legalizing recreational marijuana

...has 12 comments, most recently from Megan m

The Cornplanter pipe tomahawk

...has 2 comments, most recently from Ed

Morning Blend for Jul 20

...has 1 comment, most recently from Amy

Local places to buy head scarves?

...has 2 comments, most recently from Summer