What's all this about a portal between Dublin and New York going *literally* tits up?

We hear terrible things incessantly in the news, but the good news story lately has been a live video 'portal' linking New York City to Dublin, bringing two distant communities closer together. That is, until it was shut down after less than a week of operation due to lewd behaviour. 

The 'portal' is like a giant TV screen, placed inside a rounded concrete frame, displaying a live feed of the people in either city. New Yorkers in the Flatiron District could wave into it and watch Portal onlookers on O'Connell Street in Dublin wave back to them, and vice versa. 

Opening on May 8 and called 'The Portal', the art installation was founded by Lithuanian artist Benediktas Gylys, to encourage us to forget borders or cultural differences and enjoy the essence of human nature, of which we are all united in. 

The only problem is that this installation unfortunately brought out the baser sides of human nature, with people flashing and trolling one another through The Portal. 

Image: Getty


Upon opening the installation, New York City Chief Public Realm Officer Ya-Ting Liu had told Flatiron Nomad, "Two amazing global cities, connected in real-time and space. That is something you do not see every day!"

Oh, the irony. 

In a way, she was right, people flashing their bare bottoms and pictures of 9/11 through the video feed is something we don't see every day. And we don't want to. 

This is why we can't have nice things. The few ruin it for the many. 

Essentially, onlookers turned it from a sweet live Zoom session with strangers to a seedy Omegle chat room, and city mayors were less than impressed.

Dublin City Council turned off the installation for the start of the week, while the Flatiron Nomad Partnership said it was on pause. 

"While we cannot control all of these actions, we are implementing some technical solutions to address this and these will go live in the next 24 hours," said the Dublin City Council in a statement.


Per part of the problem may be the placement of The Portal in Dublin, as there are several pubs close by. 

An Irish man told ABC, "I don't think you could have picked a worse spot for late-night drinking crowds. 

"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."

On the same day it went live, one woman 'mooned' the camera, exposing her derrière to New York City. Afterwards, another man dropped his trousers for the live feed.


Since then, bad behaviour has ensued, on both sides. An OnlyFans model bared her breasts to unsuspecting onlookers in New York, while on Dublin side, members of the public showed devastating images of 9/11 and swastikas. 

While city councils are looking into solutions to keep the feeds appropriate and secure, organisers have stressed that there were a lot of lovely moments too. 

"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 said. "Instances of inappropriate behaviour have come from a very small minority of Portal visitors and have been amplified on social media."


While some groups did matching dances in time on either side of The Portal, other long-distance couples spoke on the phone while looking at one another through it.

@catemaguiree #dublin #newyork #portal ♬ original sound - nico !
@irishdaily The joy of seeing your friend at the portal 🥹😍 Someone also said ‘Now imagine they put a portal in Sydney and Dublin I’d be able to see all my friends’🤗 What are your thoughts on the portal so far? It looks like people are having fun?😅 #portal #dublin #nyc . 📸 credit👉 by @Georgia G 👏☘️👏 22 year old musician from Dublin. Listen to her song PARASITE ❤️ #irish_ldaily #tiktokoftheday #ireland #newyorkcity #irish #fyp ♬ original sound - Irish Daily

Watch a cheer squad perform through The Portal

Video via Getty.

Some even found it was a way to strike up new romances. One Irish man tried to give his phone number to someone in New York, while another held up a sign to speak to someone on the other side. 

See, there truly is good in the world.

It's expected that The Portal will be back online by the end of the week. Let's hope that this time the good vibes roll, and nothing else.

Feature image: Getty.

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