Adventures Along the Way: Christo 1985

Author: robertinseattle

Wow! I still remember a weeks-long trip to Europe in 1985 with my friend and tech industry analyst, Tim Bajarin. My company, SpectraFAX, had just successfully developed the first color digital scanners for PCs (and MACs not long after) and Tim was helping to introduce me to many of his connections in London, Paris and Munich as part of our international rollout plans.

After several days in Paris meeting with potential distributors, we were up early one morning to head for the airport to hit the final leg of our journey in Munich. Everywhere we stayed on this trip, journalists somehow managed to follow Tim and leave messages for him at the front desk of every hotel. We were in the middle of the very public  Apple/Steve Jobs/John Sculley spat and everyone from the Wall Street Journal to the San Jose Mercury News wanted to hear Tim’s opinions on what was happening at Apple. (Jobs ended up getting canned from Apple at the time and Sculley consolidated his power base with the backing of the Board and that was the start of the Jobs-less era at Apple.)

“Boy, I’m glad I’m over here with you on this trip instead of back in The Valley right now!” Tim would tell me as he tossed another handful of messages into the wastebasket every morning.

We caught a taxicab outside of our hotel and the driver cruised along the West Bank on our way to Charles DeGaulle Airport. As we headed towards the Pont Neuf, traffic started to slow down to look at the bridge. Here’s what we saw coming up on the Pont Neuf:

PontNeuf 1-85

Christo Pont Neuf 1985 1

The bridge had been completely wrapped in fabric over a span of weeks and completed the night before we left! Passing by:

PontNeuf2-85

Christo Pont Neuf 1985 2

And a shot out the back window of the taxicab:

PontNeuf3-85

Christo Pont Neuf 1985 3

It was an awesome sight to be greeted with on our way out of Paris! And keep in mind this was back in 1985: No cell phones, no Internet like we have today and a much slower traditional reporting process for news. So we had no idea what we had just seen until we got into Munich that evening and read the International Herald Tribune.

It was my first experience with a Christo piece. This conceptual artist and his wife, Jeanne-Claude, went on to collaborate on many other even more ambitious wraps over the years, including The Reichstag in Berlin in 1995 and The Gates project in Central Park, New York in 2005. Christo passed away in 2009. From Wikipedia.

And here’s the entry on their Pont Neuf Project from Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s site – click HERE.

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One Response to “Adventures Along the Way: Christo 1985”

  1. Joe Kennedy Says:

    That must have been super cool to see!

    I was fortunate enough to witness Cristo’s “Umbrellas” on the Grapevine heading down to so Cal in 1991 – 1,760 huge yellow umbrellas. Seemed very strange at the time, but glad I got to see it.

    http://learnmoreeveryday.wordpress.com/2011/10/08/christos-umbrellas-a-look-back/