A man whose daughter was whacked in the head by Astor Place’s new Keith Haring sculpture tells us he thinks the installation is a “very dangerous hazard” for pedestrians – especially NYU students who text while walking.
“Last night a young woman, walking briskly during rush hour, hit her head against the hard metal protrusion and fell to the ground,” John Walber wrote yesterday of his daughter, a film student who interns in Soho. “She immediately developed a big welt on her forehead, and may have gotten [a] concussion. Others in the crowd were seen dodging the foot, luckily, at the last second.”
Apparently, the victim of the art assault was walking while texting when she got smacked down by the leg of Haring’s 1989 Self-Portrait. “The right foot of the sculpture in front of 51 Astor Place extends beyond the base into the often crowded sidewalk,” Walber complains. “At night, the sculpture is unlit from the west making it a bigger danger as the sun sets.”
According to Walber, his daughter was dizzy and nauseous enough to contact her doctor, who told her to pop some ibuprofen and watch for symptoms of a concussion. Walber, meanwhile, has filed a 311 complaint.
Bedford + Bowery left a couple of messages for the property manager of 51 Astor, but they haven’t been returned.
I have to admit, this almost happened to me shortly after the piece was installed, before it was lit. Will getting clobbered by Keith become a rite of passage, much like spinning the Cube, for NYU freshmen (and now Marymount Manhattan froshes, too)? Let’s hope not, though I can think of a couple of local bloggers who’d probably get a kick out of it.