In the summer I spend a lot of my weekends in Margate, NJ. I love running on the boardwalk early in the morning before anybody has crawled out of bed. The boardwalk stretches from Ventnor to Atlantic City. On my run I always pass this one house that has the most amazing statues you have ever seen. They are all of children playing different games and doing fun activities. People always stop to take pictures and admire them. I wish I had a picture to show you but its too early in the season and I didn’t know I would be writing about statues.
I was coming home from the city last Tuesday night with a friend. She was driving. We stopped at the light in front of Nero’s and she said, “WHAT ARE THOSE PEOPLE DOING? , ARE THEY MAKING OUT ON THE CORNER?” I literally started hysterical laughing. I looked closer and I said “UM, THOSE PEOPLE ARE NOT REAL!! THEY ARE STATUES!” The funniest part was that statue was not there when we left for the city several hours before. Somehow this statue appeared in thin air.
This would be the statue she was talking about, aka “Contact”:
The next day the town was buzzing…. What are these statues? Where did they come from? Are they staying? The funniest (well maybe not funny) part was EVERYBODY started complaining about the “almost” accidents these statues were causing. Now I really think instead of “surprising” the town of Livingston, maybe someone should have warned us about this exhibit that was coming to town. Nobody was prepared. I was in Starbucks and the Barista behind the counter was saying how “jarring” and odd they were. I was intrigued. I thought it would be fun to take you on a tour of the fake people that have invaded our town. I say invaded because they are not staying! They are here until October and then being removed. I feel like by then we will all be used to them and sad they will be gone.
Anyhow let’s take the tour. Stop 1. “Far Out”
Ok, is it me or does this guy look so tripped out? I love the outfit situation. Wool sweater, button down, khaki’s and the old school Adidas kicks. But why is he sitting in the middle of Baumgart’s lawn totally spaced out. Are we supposed to think he is stoned? Are we supposed to think he is in major deep thought and decided to sit down and just “THINK”? Not so sure here….but I decided to move on.
Apparently I wasn’t the only one on a tour so I asked this fine lady to take shoot a pic with this gentleman. He was writing on a clipboard in front of the firehouse facing Livingston Ave. I love the side part and the glasses. But the best part was the pocket protector. It may be a glass case but I am going with pocket protector. Gotta give the sculptor some credit here! Props to the details. But if I am driving down Livingston Ave at night and see this fella on the lawn writing, I know I am doing a double take. Hence the almost accident.
Stop 3. “Holier than Thou”
Not so sure what the “garbage” is that he holding but he seems very intrigued by it. My favorite part is the fact that people are actually using this as a garbage can! I know for a fact that pizza box and Starbucks cup was not in there when this was installed. Come on people…. nobody is throwing out the garbage in there. Have some respect.
A funny thing about this…when I went to snap this photo there was literally an accident in front of the statue right before I got out of the car. Either I witnessed the full effect of this statue or it was just a coincidence (I will never know) . I love that this little girl is eating a burger, shoes off, chilling on Livingston Ave watching the cars go by. She kind of rocks and I would like to bring her home.
Stop 5. “Holding out”
This woman is a site, whew. She looks MISERABLE! They placed her prominently in front of Kings. Smart. But they gave a 90 year old woman 3 bags she obviously is not happy carrying. Like if I am going to put someone out in front of Kings… At least make her look happy. Like, HEY I JUST PICKED UP A DELICIOUS DINNER, I AM SO EXCITED TO GO EAT. But no, its WHY THE HELL AM I CARRYING 3 BAGS I CAN”T HOLD AND NOBODY IS HELPING ME!..yeah that is a scary one. I tried to think of why its called “Holding out” and all I can think of is 1) She is just going to wait for some young gent to come help her out or 2) She is going to drop dead holding those suckers because she is just going to “hold out”. Not sure here..
Stop 6. “Building Better Neighbors”
Not much to say about this fella. He is building what? I don’t know. But he seems quite content and I really don’t have anything to add except that he is across the street from the 90 year old lady holding the bags. Maybe he should go help her.
Stop 7. “Shaping Up”
This is my favorite one BY FAR! I love it so much we are going to discuss it to its full extent. We are going to dissect this one, oh boy. First lets talk about WHY. Why did they put her in an 80’s outfit? I don’t know anybody who jogs in that kind of clothing anymore, do you? Even my mother doesn’t! Like my grandmother MAY own this outfit but my mother doesn’t and she is 65. Why is she wearing a purse? Do you run with a purse? I don’t. I mean at least give her a “fanny pack” but a purse? Um, no.
The headphones. Those headphones are also from 1985. I think those were the first headphones I ever owned. At least he is on track with the era but I really think she needs to be updated.
I do love the Nike kicks, though. Too bad they didn’t put her in front of the “Oval”. I do think that would have made more sense but the placement of all these statues are mind boggling anyway.
Stop 8. “Just a Taste”
At first glance, the kids look so cute. The little boy is trying to steal a lick of the girl’s ice cream. But as you look further (see below)
Stop 9. “Weekend Painter”
This guy is happily painting a beam on the corner of Northfield and Livingston Avenue. He spilled some paint on his paints and shoes. Although he is called the “Weekend Painter”, he seems to be painting all day and night.
Stop 9. “Long Last”
These two businessmen have met in front of Sam’s on the corner of Northfield. Maybe they are meeting to have a cup of coffee at Seymour’s. Wait did that come back?? I can’t figure out what is going on there. The crazy thing is on the description of this sculpture in the paper, it is supposed to be called “Contact” and the two people hugging in front of Nero’s (see below) is supposed to be called “”At Long Last”. Somebody screwed that up.
Stop 10. “Contact”
Looking at this one, you know its supposed to be called “At Long Last”. Maybe someone will switch it after reading this. Anyway, thanks for taking the tour with me. I know I missed a sculpture. As I was looking through the list I realized I missed “Getting Involved” in front of the Sovereign Bank. You can go check that our yourself. But make sure you are not driving when you do so! I do think Seward Johnson did an amazing job with the details and elements of each person. I loved the added accessories and all of the shoes. You should take a walk down Livingston Avenue some time this spring/summer and have a look before they leave us. It’s worth it!