If the first high-rise building in Greenpoint-Williamsburg had been conceived of from a perspective within the neighborhood, if it resembled the work of the communitys 197-A plan, it would not be taller than Northside Piers became during the month of February. Twenty-one of its soon-to-be 30 stories have been constructed. Our landscape, our relationship to the sky, the light and to Manhattan, has been changed forever by concrete and steel.
Almost every day for the past 28 years, Arthur Wood has hoisted himself to the upper stories of his Clinton Hill home to hammer, paint, and weld an unfinished dream he calls Broken Angel. Although he wears his own hard hat, he has never labored at a construction site or adhered to blueprints.
Sophie Bednarczyk, sporting black curly hair and a heavy layer of make-up, said, You have to pray and do the rosary to prevent global warming. We have zero influence on whats going to happen. Take the Tsunami. Bad people live over there."
To love New York City is to fall for concrete and steel. Maybe it’s the iconic Brooklyn Bridge that raises the hair on your arms, or it’s an anonymous apartment building on East 10th Street. Buildings and structures become talismans here—reminders of constancy and comfort, landmarks not just of the city’s history, but also of our own timelines and stories, or the stories we wish were ours.
Sonia Guadalupe and her son Eric live in a fourth floor apartment overlooking the Bruckner expressway in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx. The tidy apartment’s walls are hung with mirrors. Family photos rest on the TV and two blue sofas sit untouched. Hardwood floors and glass tables glint from the light coming in through the windows. That’s because Sonia is always cleaning. She dusts several times a day just to keep up with the dirt that creeps in from the roadway.
“You all here for the _fifth floor?_” says a black man in a pinstriped suit and Oxford shoes, one of three dressed in nearly-identical fashion.
Shortly after art teacher Sandy Edmonds arrived in Port Elizabeth, South Africa last August, she noticed that one of her students, 12-year-old Vuyo Mkalipi, held his scissors a few inches from his eyes. It was the only way he could see the paper he intended to cut.
Eugene Mirman’s unruly mop of black hair was in a more chaotic state than usual as he prepared for his semi-regular “Eugene Mirman and Friends” comedy night at Union Hall in Park Slope.