They rise from the sand and shallows along the Hudson River like a Stonehenge built to the scale of a Manhattan apartment: a tight gathering of stone figures, rock perched on rock, that appear to be marching in a stately procession toward the George Washington Bridge.
The elegant stacks, skillfully balanced without wires or adhesives, have amazed and bewildered hikers and cyclists since late July, when they began appearing south of the bridge, beside the Hudson River Greenway in Washington Heights. As word has spread, the collection has become a Rorschach test for New Yorkers who make a special trip there and see in it what they will: a skyline, a chessboard, another of the many public art installations that dot the waterfront.
Strangest of all, the statues change — in size, shape and number — from one day to the next, growing and ebbing like the river tides. Sometimes there are none at all.