I never saw a purple cow
''Cow-Moo-ter'' with friends (l. to r.): Great Neck Plaza Mayor Jean Celender, Plaza Commissioner of Public Services Michael Sweeney, Michael Weinbaum, and Michael Lamoretti.
Standing proudly on its pedestal in front of the office building at 11 Grace Avenue in busy downtown Great Neck Plaza is the only member of the Cow Parade 2000 project that lives in Nassau County. She answers (or doesn't) to the name ''Cow-Moo-ter.'' (In case you missed the significance of that name, think of what many Great Neck residents do daily to get to work.) She was designed by Shavaun Devlin, and has the typical tie, Rolex watch, and wing-tipped shoes of a commuter. In her mouth is a copy of ''Moo-sday.''
Working with the sponsors of Cow Parade 2000, the Cow Parade Holdings Corp., and overseer of the Great Neck member of the parade is Michael Weinbaum, of the United Capital Corp., a local real estate firm. His brother-in-law, Michael Lamoretti, is also involved in the Cow Parade 2000 project.
''We think this is an excellent addition to our town,'' said Mr. Weinbaum.
The Cow Parade idea started last summer in Chicago, where the many lifesize fiberglass bossies decorated the streets and were said to have increased tourist revenues considerably in the ''Windy City.'' At present there are about 500 fiberglass cows, handsomely decorated, all around New York City.
One stand-out New York City cow, ''Moootzart,'' at 777 Third Avenue in front of the Grey Advertising building, is especially clever. Designed by Grey creative director Bruce Arendash, this cow is quite unique. The ''cow'' has been split in two, and has become a piano (and,as well, a player piano), with ''concerts'' offered on week-day mornings. Among the songs we heard were ''In the Moo'' and ''It Had to Be Moo.'' Nice touch!
Another appropriate name is Moobile Library, who stands in front of the New York Public Library. She was designed by Edwina Sandys, and is decorated with about 200 painted books, titled Canterbury Tails, Cream and Punishment, and A Room With A Moo. No one has yet mentioned the name Moo-la for a cow in front of a bank.
The Grace Avenue cow, wearing a handsome blue jacket and tastefully decorated, hopefully will ''grace'' Grace Avenue for a long time to come. It is a wonderful addition to the community and to the downtown business area.
Mr. Weinbaum, who lives in Great Neck with his wife, Melissa, and their two sons, Jared and Samuel, was incensed at the rustling of Moo-Stripa, a New York City member of the Cow Parade. Fortunately the missing cow was spotted grazing in Richmond Hill, and was returned to her home base, none the worse for her adventure.
Ronald Fox, vice president of Cow Parade 2000, explained, ''We chose the cow as our standard-bearer for her gentleness, her nurturing traits and her physique, which provides a natural canvas for artists young and old.''
Asked about the value of the project, Mr. Fox said, ''It brings together the arts community and the business community in a way that makes art available to the public and that eventually benefits charitable causes. And it's fun!'' What more could one ask of an enterprise?