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Unfinished City

by 12/02/2002
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village, Multiple

Lately when I go for a walk I make a vow not to walk under any scaffolding, in protest of there being so much of it these days. Two minutes later I realize I’m walking under scaffolding. One day I stopped and looked at the scaffolding around the NYU tower at East 8th Street and […]

Chemical Fire

by 12/01/2002
Neighborhood: Brooklyn, Sunset Park

The building, Morgan described, was a monolith of brick with a flat, black hole blasted out of the side. Standing at the edge of the entrance, he peered inside and swore that he saw someone moving. He shivered and stumbled to the curb, then quickly retraced his footsteps back up First Avenue, skirting the fringe […]

Inside the Tenenbaum House

by 10/09/2002
Neighborhood: Harlem

Just east of Amsterdam Avenue, in a section of Harlem called Hamilton Heights, a newly poignant obsession of mine was given life. I had spent my week with the DVD of Wes Anderson’s third movie, The Royal Tenenbaums. I sang along with the quirky soundtrack songs (Nico, The Clash, Paul Simon); listened to the director’s […]

The Dakota: John Lennon Speaks

by 07/01/2002
Neighborhood: Upper West Side

The Dakota. It’s not simply a brown building. On the northeast corner of 72nd and Central Park West, it stands like a fortress. It has the soothing color of earth. Near the entrance to the park, a hot dog vendor sells an abundance of meat and buns. Multicolored balloons hang from a tree. A guy […]

What is This Building?

by 06/13/2002
Neighborhood: SoHo

We decided to visit Manhattan and everyone agreed that was a good idea. In the weeks before we left Scotland emails and telephone calls arrived telling us all the places which we absolutely must see, and all the things which we absolutely must do. On arrival, we followed instructions and headed down towards the World […]

The Religious Life of Objects

by 05/02/2002
Neighborhood: Morningside Heights

Nadine had dark curly hair, a slow quiet voice and more stubborn patience then anyone I knew. She was showing me her favorite textile, a small pre-Columbian piece, dated around 500 BC. It was no bigger than a doormat, but she had been working on it for over six months. “These repeated geometric patterns form […]

Inside the Needle: The Chrysler Building Gets Lit

by 03/31/2002
Neighborhood: Midtown

The cellar of the Chrysler Building is midtown’s one great monument to the American filling station. It offers (for free) the same perfume of motor oil, the same lulling throb of distant engines, the not unpleasant heat, the mesmerizing hiss of compressed air. And it is always noontime in the Chrysler Building cellar, the same […]

The Plight of the Organized

by 02/17/2002
Neighborhood: All Over, Manhattan

Passing by St. Mark’s Bookstore, I hesitate and peer in, sizing up the window displays. I’m anxious about a fifteen minute gap in my color-coded schedule. Brown for my day-job, red for visual art, aquamarine for friends & family are the colors I assigned to the categories in my laptop’s organizer program. A few moments […]

James Bogardus:
The Inventor’s Triangle

by 01/02/2002
Neighborhood: Tribeca

Bogardus was a watch-maker and inventor who was awarded thirteen US patents and one British patent, for clocks, spinning machinery, grinding mills, gas meters, and devices for pressing glass cuttings, working with rubbers and making postage stamps. He built the first cast-iron fa?ade in history in 1848 at 183 Broadway (it has since been destroyed). […]