Where there are gates there must be gatekeepers

Where there are gates there must be gatekeepers

: Call me a cynic. Call me a philistine. You’ve called me worse.

But I don’t get The Gates.

Shower curtains on parade? Florida citrus product placement? Hare Krishna craziness?

I was early to CNN at Time Warner Center (aka Columbus Circle) on Sunday and walked to the park to see The Gates and The Tourists gaping. I just don’t get it. It’s one of those moments when New Yorkers, as if under mass hypnosis, ooh and ahh and act all cultural. And I, of the bridge & tunnel crowd, shrug. $20 million for this?

My wife asked what it’s supposed to mean. I quoted the artists: Nothing. It’s just art. That’s the phrase my son associates with the haughtiest blather on Studio 360: It’s just art, as if that explains away indulgence.

I wonder why the hell they didn’t do this in June when the weather’s nice. I wonder what the hell they’re going to do with all that saffron fabric (shower curtains?). I wonder why all these people come out to walk under cloth.

I should have stopped off on the way home to buy a velvet Elvis painting, suburban, cynical philistine that I am.

As I walked up, I thought — cynically — that I was sure to see orange T-shirts. No, they were blue with orange script, sold alongside The Gates travel coffee mugs (all the better to sip your Starbucks under the art).

I’ve seen no one else buck the oohing-and-ahhing crowd. Someone had to.