Dublin-NY Portal Antics Show Why We Can't Have Nice Things

Livestream connecting the 2 cities temporarily halted after 'inappropriate behavior'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2024 10:55 AM CDT
Dublin-NY Portal Antics Show Why We Can't Have Nice Things
A man signals to pedestrians in Dublin through a livestream portal as part of an art installation on the street in New York on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

An art installation that claims it's trying to create a "bridge to a united planet" via livestreams connecting cities on Earth has had to temporarily shutter one of them after the AP says it became "a magnet for boorish behavior." "The Portal" in New York City, a circular screen located in the shadow of the Flatiron Building and launched on May 8, shows O'Connell Street in the city of Dublin on the other side, allowing locals from both cities to wave hello to each other via the soundless connection. This week, however, the portal was closed down after "a very small minority" of spectators started engaging in some "inappropriate behavior," a rep from the Flatiron NoMad Partnership says in a statement, per CBS News.

Some of that bad behavior includes an OnlyFans model flashing her breasts to onlookers in Dublin; bystanders in Dublin holding up swastikas and images of the Twin Towers ablaze on 9/11; a man mooning; another man flipping the bird; and people pretending to take drugs, per the AP and BBC. The Portal was first shut down Monday evening, then briefly turned back on Tuesday, then shut down again later Tuesday as organizers tried to look for "possible technical solutions" to such wild antics, according to a spokesman for the Dublin City Council. Meanwhile, some say this was all probably an accident waiting to happen.

"I don't think you could have picked a worse spot for late-night drinking crowds," one 30-year-old Dublin local tells the AP of the Dublin screen's location. "I don't know what I would have done as a young lad walking past it after I've had a few too many pints." Currently, there are also similar livestreams located in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius and in Lublin, Poland. The Portal in NYC is expected to be back in business later this week and will stick around in the city through the fall. "The overwhelming majority of visitors to the Portal have behaved appropriately and experienced the sense of joy and connectedness that this work of public art invites people to have," the Flatiron NoMad Partnership statement notes. (More strange stuff stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.