The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation opened the city's first public wine fountain in Central Park today. Depending on its success, more fountains may find their way into the city's public parks in the next five years.
The inaugural project will transform Bethesda Fountain, located mid-park on the north side of 72nd Street, into a public source of free red wine. "Bethesda Fountain is the perfect site for our city's first wine fountain since it was designed to commemorate when fresh water was first brought to New York in 1842," said NYC Parks commissioner Mitchell J. Silver. "Now we are commemorating a moment when fine wine will be made available to all."
The public is encouraged to bring their own glass and catch the wine spilling over the upper platform or scoop up a sip from the base of the fountain. Many businesses will be handing out branded paper cups as well. "We anticipate that this fountain will not only attract more tourists to our great city, but also help New York City small businesses," said Silver.
Several New York-based wineries have signed on to supply the wine, in exchange for advertising near the fountain. The fountain will also be guarded by New York City police officers whose task it will be to approach youthful-looking drinkers and ask for ID. The age restriction on alcohol will be dutifully enforced at all times.