Cow statues -- Jerry Elbaum's parade of fiberglass cows have taken over Zurich, Chicago, and now New York City

By Lori L. Tharps
Updated August 04, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

Start spreading the moos: New York City is the latest metropolitan area to be invaded by life-size fiberglass cows. Inspired by urban cow-scapades in Zurich and Chicago, Jerry Elbaum, a Connecticut-based ex-lawyer, recently created CowParade Holdings Corp., which plans to launch international cow parades in other major cities and sell paraphernalia like T-shirts and snow globes. Nearly 100 of the 600 bovine beauties dotting the five boroughs (and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut) will be auctioned off to benefit a number of charities in September. ”CowParade is first and foremost a public art exhibit,” says Elbaum, adding that the next exhibit will take place in Honolulu in 2001. ”The cow is simply a three-dimensional canvas.” The hand-painted heifers can also serve as network promos. NBC, HBO, MTV, and UPN have all sponsored (for $7,500 each) cows, while CBS went udderly crazy sponsoring six, including the bathrobe-clad Early Show cow that attracts folks to the show’s midtown window. Says an Early Show spokesperson, ”You can always count on people to stop and look at a cow.” Talk about milking it.