Monday, May 10, 2010

Is Metronome Broken or Incontinent?

You all know what I mean when I speak of Metronome. It's that work of art in Union Square: a complicated triptych with (1) whirring electronic numbers that is some sort of clock, (2) a slab of granite with a spirally-thing and (3) some Other Bits

And the whole thing is at the south side of Union Square, covering the side of a big building, quite high up. See above!

This morning at precisely 4:17 and 50 seconds Metronome was emitting a steady torrent of water down on to the sidewalk. The leak — if it is a leak — came from the hole at the center or (surely this is a great moment to pompously use the word omphalos) omphalos of the work. This is the same hole which emits a big cloud of steam every day at exactly noon.

Perhaps a pipe has burst? I put my hand in the stream as it fell to the street — a vast puddle was forming — and it felt cold, so I guess the water was not coming directly from whatever makes the steam, though I admit I have zero knowledge of how Metronome produces its daily steam.