Whoever designed these benches must have had photographers and artists in mind. They were beautiful to see, fun to actually sit in, and wonderful to photograph.
The benches were in Federal Plaza, adjacent to the Javitz Federal Building, just off of Foley Square. Alas, the plaza was fenced off and full of huge chunks of concrete when I last saw it about 10 months ago. The Powers That Be decided that the plaza needed yet another facelift, and a new design, minus these whimsical benches, is in the works.
I took this photo while guiding a tour of Foley Square and Brooklyn Bridge back in September 2008. You can see the color version of it here.