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In January of 2003 after 25 years of courting New York 
City officials, artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude obtained 
permission from current mayor Michael Bloomberg 
to install their latest art creation, The Gates: A Project 
for New York. The exhibit consists of a series of 7,500 
16-ft gates bearing saffron-colored panels that will drape 
in a river-like succession. "The Gates" will be placed at 
12-ft intervals along 23 miles of foot paths throughout New York City's Central Park. In keeping with their 
artistic style of producing art that replicates the forms 
of nature and architecture, "The Gates", best seen from 
roof tops including the Cantor rooftop garden at the 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, will create the illusion of 
a golden river suspended amidst the bare trees. The 
golden sunset glow cast by this exhibit promises to be 
spectacular and memorable.

Installation of  "The Gates" began on January 3rd. The 
draping panels, scheduled to be in place by February 
7th, will remain unfurled in cocoon-like shapes until 
February 12th. The exhibit will remain in place for 16 
days from February 12-28.
View the pictures

The husband and wife team claim to create works of joy and beauty that are not 
intended to be symbolic or carry any political or moral message. Most of the 
materials used in "The Gates" are recyclable and great care and planning has 
gone into ensuring that no vegetation or rock formation is disturbed and that there 
is no damage to the natural wonder of New York City's beloved oasis.

Artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude met in Paris in 1958 and moved to New York in 1964. Their first joint project, Stacked Oil Barrels, Dockside Packages at Cologne Harbor led to a series of 25 projects each temporary, massive and unique. The entire cost of producing "The Gates" exhibit; including manufacturing, installation and removal (estimated to be in the area of 20 million dollars) is being absorbed by the artists who raise funds through the sale of Christo's art and photographic reproductions of this and other projects.
Astonishing Facts
7,500 Gates
5,290 tons of steel (equivalent to the amount 
of steel used to create two thirds of the Eiffel Tower)
116,389 miles of nylon thread to be woven into
1,067,300 square feet of fabric
165,000 bolts and nuts
315,491 vinyl tubing
46 miles of hems
Other Works by Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Reichstag (Berlin)
Pont Neuf (Paris)
Over the River: A Project for The Arkansas River 
(Colorado) in progress
Wrapped Fountain & Tower (Spoletto, Italy)
Wrapped Coast, Little Bay (Sydney, Australia)
Wrapped Tree (Minneapolis, MN)
Running Fence (California)
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The "Bear" Essentials

While supplies last, Build-a-Bear is offering Valentine's Hugs  
Bear a limited edition snuggly white teddy introduced this 
year just in time for Valentine's Day. At a mere fourteen 
dollars, this is a heart warming gift that let's you say "I made 
it myself." Like all other Build-a-Bear characters, Valentine's 
Hug Bear is brought to life by you.

The Build-a-Bear work shops number 170 throughout the states, including a temporary location at Rockefeller Center and a new 5th Avenue flagship store scheduled to open this summer. Each store location is better known as a workshop where you create your own bear by stuffing the model of your choice with plump filling and a little heart.

If your valentine is looking for more than just the "Bear" 
essentials, a darling array of apparel, shoes and accessories 
lets you give your bear just the right look. To make sure that 
your fuzzy friend sends the right message, select a sound 
chip with one of five stock sounds or create your own. All 
apparel, accessories and sound chips are a-la-carte.

From new born infants to adults, nothing sends a warm hug better than a teddy bear. For more details and a complete list of store locations, visit
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Sweets For The Sweet

In a town aimed at pleasing chocolate lovers by the sheer number and variety of shops dedicated to the ancient delicacy known as chocolate, a few stand above all the others. A glistening box of chocolates is likely to cast a smile on anyone's face but, imagine the reaction to something so unusual that it shouts out "you are special!" Throughout America over three million pounds of chocolate are devoured each year. So, if you are ever having difficulty picking out a gift, chocolate is a safe bet. You might even call it the ultimate "one size fits all" gift. Discover one of these fine shops during your next visit to New York City.  Many even allow you to purchase products or gift certificates online.

Jacques Torres Chocolate Haven
350 Hudson Street (corner of King Street)
(718) 875.9772

Accomplished pastry chef Jacques Torres renowned for his television appearances and numerous books on the subject of pastry and chocolate has been preparing his specialties daily at Jacques Torres Chocolate a small shop in Brooklyn hidden away under the Manhattan Bridge. A second and larger store has just opened on the corner of Hudson and King in the West Village bringing these hand made chocolates to eager Manhattanites. The cafe and shop are built at the center of the manufacturing plant. Large windows surrounding the shop place each step of the chocolate making process in full view of the public. This combination Willy Wonka adventure and fine chocolatier won't remain a secret for long. Go see it before the crowds do. The next few months are a perfect time to try his signature hot cocoa.

Richart Design and Chocolate
7 East 55th Street

Richart claims to be the world's most highly regarded chocolate. New York, the city that has everything is one of 
the few cities worldwide that can claim to have a Richart boutique. Founded in 
France by Joseph Richart, the company, now run by third generation Richart 
family members, elevates chocolate making to a new art form. It designs 
perhaps the most delicate chocolates and arranges them beautifully in boxes, 
which can be topped with a chocolate card. You, of course, can customize the message.

911 Seventh Avenue (between 57th & 58th)
(212) 245-2217

Just one block north of The Manhattan Club you'll find the Petrossian Boutique. This New York offspring of the 80 year old French tradition serves delectable sweets, including wine and champagne chocolates. Their restaurant next door offers a $20.00 lunch special year round. Good food at a great price, plus nice atmosphere add up to another well kept New York City secret.

485 Madison (between51st & 52nd Streets)

Founded in Belgium by a Greek-American who traveled there to attend a confectionery exposition, Leonidas the chocolate line, which bears his name is now available worldwide. This Madison Avenue staple offers a beautiful selection of fresh chocolates to suit every taste. Their distinctive wrapping makes a wonderful gift presentation for every season and any occasion. For the address of three other locations in the Wall Street area visit their web site.

1032 Lexington Avenue
(212) 717-5252

The sheer beauty and elegance of this old world shop adds flavor to its already excellent fare. Founded by pastry chef Francois Payard who served as pastry chef at LeBernardin and later for for chef de cuisine Daniel Boulud, Payard's emulates a cozy french bistro and a pastries shop right out of Paris's Left Bank. This amazing design and warm character is the creation of talented restaurant designer, David Rockwell. Whether it's a dinner location a special assortment of high-end pastry, a birthday cake, gift basket, fine chocolates or afternoon tea service that you have in mind, you'll find it all there.

Maison du Chocolat
30 Rockefeller Center
New York, NY 10020
(212) 265-9404

1012 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10021
(212) 744-7117

Founded in France in 1977 by Robert Linxe, master of chocolate known among his peers as "Sorcier de la Ganache", Maison du Chocolat boasts a team of experts who employ great passion in both the creation and presentation of excellent handmade chocolates. The Rockefeller Center location has seating where one can enjoy hot chocolate and pastries.

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