When Bingo Bango, an inflatable character who resembles a cheerful mitotic cell, waves his red-mittened hand at you, it is impossible not to smile. And so it was a grinning group that gathered on Tuesday evening to celebrate the opening of Section 2 of the High Line, New York’s elevated freight rail turned sky park. Installed in the shadow of the new section, which runs from West 20th Street to West 30th Street on Manhattan’s West Side, is Rainbow City. The 16,000-square-foot wonderland of 40 inflatable structures—including a mushroom-shaped bouncey house, a 40-foot-tall figure who occassionally emits a puff of steam from his cylindrical nose, and massive striped orbs that several of the youngest partygoers declared the “funnest punching bags ever”—is the colorful creation of FriendsWithYou, the Miami-based art and design team of Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III (pictured below), and is presented by AOL as part of its ongoing creativity-boosting initiatives. Borkson and Sandoval were inspired by Holi, the Hindu spring festival during which revelers throw colored water and powder at one another, to create what they describe as “a vibrant landscape of responsive, air-filled sculptures that addresses the potency of interaction, ritual, and play.” Think Tinkertoys meets Candyland crossed with a whole lot of hot air. The installation is open to the public through July 5, and those who want to take home more than memories (and a photo with Bingo Bango and friends) can pick up Rainbow City merch at the on-site shop designed by New York-based architecture firm HWKN.
(Photos from left: Billy Farrell Agency and Erika Velazquez)