• Benji Sills

Seesaws on Broadway - “Impulse” Art Installation

Updated: Feb 25, 2020

As Paige and I made our way to a friend’s house for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie marathon, we passed by a brand new interactive installation on Broadway. Between 37th and 38th streets, 12 gigantic light-up seesaws have been installed under the title “Impulse”. Despite already being 40 minutes late for our movie night, we decided to take a brief detour to try these jubilant playground throwbacks. “I wonder if anyone has gotten hurt yet” I foreshadowed ignorantly.

Seesaws traditionally rely on the balanced weights of two individuals to keep them in equilibrium, but as I am a literal foot taller than Paige, we had to account for our differences. I handed her my heavy backpack to even the weight slightly (and not at all because I was just trying to get her to carry my stuff) and we plonked down on the seesaw. At first, all was well - we sprung joyfully up and down with only a slightly noticeable burden on my side. The seesaws are each fitted with bright beams of white light that shift with the motion, allowing you and your partner to create a personal light show.

Around us were strangers of all sorts sharing in the delight - from Instagram models struggling not to look ridiculous to families taking advantage of the several seesaws that allowed for multiple riders per side. As I was careening upwards, I was so distracted by the activity around us that I didn’t notice Paige starting to dismount. Without her to counterbalance me, I plummeted back down like a cartoon anvil, which jettisoned the far end of the beam directly into Paige’s belly. She flung back up - looking in her big parka like she’d been shot from a marshmallow cannon - before landing in a heap on the ground.

I dashed over, babbling “are you ok?” I found her lying in a puddle of her own winter clothes and laughing hysterically, otherwise unscathed. Despite flopping backwards off a seesaw on the busiest street in New York, the only other person who came over to check on her asked simply “are you guys done?”

The seesaws are great fun and will remain open until February 1. You can find them in New York City on Broadway, between 37th and 38th streets. Just be careful if you’re trying them with a rather large boyfriend.

Admission is free.

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