Splash mountain

Danish artist Olafur Eliasson turns on the waterworks this week with The New York City Waterfalls. How do the falls measure up? What are the best ways to view them? You know TONY's swimming with details.

Rendering: Courtesy Of Public Art Fund


The New York City Waterfalls
Dates: Thu 26–Oct 13
Hours: Daily 7am–10pm (the falls are lit at sunset)
1. Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn anchorage
2. Governors Island by Soissons Dock ferry landing
3. East River near Pier 35 (north of Rutgers Street), Lower East Side
4. East River near Piers 4 and 5, Brooklyn Heights


Manhattan Bridge pedestrian walkway
Pier 17, South Street Seaport
Battery Park City Esplanade
Fulton Ferry Landing, Dumbo, Brooklyn
Brooklyn Heights Promenade between Joralemon and Remsen Sts


The four waterfalls pump out a total of 35,000 gallons of water per minute. That’s pretty puny compared with the 35 million gallons per minute cascading down Niagara Falls, but vastly more impressive than a New York City fire hydrant, which sputters out a mere 1,000 gallons.

The biggest waterfall, located between Piers 4 and 5 in Brooklyn, is 120 feet tall, just 31 feet shy of the Statue of Liberty (sans pedestal) .

The privately-funded project costs $15 million—a bargain when you consider the $21 million shelled out for Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The Gates.


Circle Line Downtown Water Tours
Pier 16, South Street Seaport (866-925-4631, circlelinedowntown.com)
Free half-hour tours of The New York City Waterfalls are offered daily 9am–8:30pm and include taped audio commentary from Eliasson. Space is limited, though, and advance registration is required. Hour-long tours aboard the Zephyr aren’t free, but they cover more territory ($25, seniors $23, children $15).

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
Pier 83, W 42nd St at Twelfth Ave (212-563-3200, circleline42.com). Two-hour tours daily 11:30am, 3:30, 7pm; $16–$27. Three-hour tours daily 9:30am–4:30pm, $18–$31.
Not to be confused with Circle Line Downtown, this 63-year-old operation offers leisurely two- and three-hour harbor tours. Or, for $50,000, you can book a private Waterfalls package that includes a gold-encrusted bottle of Dom Pérignon, diamond earrings from Tiffany & Co., Knipschildt truffles, dinner courtesy of Daniel Boulud’s Feast & Fêtes catering, and a stay at one of Gotham’s snazziest hotels. Um, how much for a rowboat and a night at HoJo?

Classic Harbor Line Yacht Cruise
Pier 59, W 18th St at the Hudson River (646-336-5270, sail-nyc.com). Mon–Wed 6:30pm; Thu, Sat, Sun 2:30, 4:30, 6:30pm; Fri 2:30, 4:30, 6:30, 8:45pm. $40–$50.
See the waterfalls in style (as well as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and other harbor attractions) aboard the 80-foot Manhattan. It’s a hell of a lot classier than riding the Staten Island Ferry—and with complimentary champagne, a lot more fun.

New York Water Taxi Tour
Pier 17, South Street Seaport (212-742-1969, nywatertaxi.com). Mon–Fri 11am–5pm; Sat, Sun 11am–6pm. $25, seniors $20, children $15.
A water taxi isn’t the most glamorous way to see Eliasson’s masterpieces, but this 60-minute jaunt gets you close enough to feel the spray on your face. Want some turf with your surf? For $45, you can rent a bike for up to four hours and see the sites from the shore. Then return your two-wheeler to the NYWT kiosk at South Street Seaport and take the boat ride at no additional cost. (Bikes available 10am–6pm daily.)