As this week is National Self Indulgence Awareness Week, I thought I’d take the time to switch gears and talk about a good cause.  The Water Tank Project (hey they’re really called Water Towers, but to each his own) kicks off at the beginning of August to raise awareness about many of our worlds regions’ inability to get access to fresh water.  It’s the first ever initiative by a New York City non-profit organization called Word Above the Street.

Dozens of well known and lesser known artists will take to New York’s rooftops to adorn (in some cases gaudily) New York’s watertowers (yes, spell-check, to me it’s one word).  They will perch themselves up there with my watertower buddies 5 to 15 stories up.  Hopefully they will treat them well and make them pretty as they are also my own symbolic artistic  inspirations.

Why are they doing this?  I mean, Bloomberg’s gone, I thought there weren’t going to be any more public art projects!   I’ll paint you a little picture of my own but you should also go here:


Next time you’re walking through Chelsea and you’ve only half emptied the nearly frozen $1 Poland Spring bottle you bought from the water guy (and now he thinks you’re a tourist); look up and see a beautifully adorned watertower.  Then think about the millions of people in the world struggling to get access to the fresh water we take for granted every day.  Maybe you won’t pitch the remainder in a non-recycling trash bin.  Just finish it and find a recycling bin.  And a bathroom.

Also, that iced coffee you just threw out had water in it too.

I wish I was in New York next month because I not only love fresh water, I love New York’s watertowers, they’re like my babies.  Grudgingly (not really), I approve of this project because it’s for a good cause.

But, hey artists,  you’d best put them back the way they were when you’re all done.  Like your fellow artist Christo says, “If you pack it in you gotta pack it out.”

I’ve taken a kind of ownership of New York’s watertowers, they’re all mine.  It just….makes me kind of uncomfortable to have so many people’s attention focused on them.  Because of that I’m going to need them back by September.  OK?   Thank you.  Well, maybe Andy Goldsworthy can leave his up there.


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