We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I've been busy the last few days with management meetings, mostly running from office to office and keeping people happy. However, there was a full day off-site meeting recently on the 44th floor of a relatively new high-rise on 57th Street. We had the entire floor to ourselves, and before the meetings got underway, I walked around and snapped a few pictures. Here's one:
A good view of the Hudson, Jersey City in the distance, down 8th Avenue from 57th. As I snapped this, I noticed several other people in the room doing the same thing. I laughed, and commented, "Isn't it strange, we've all lived in the New York area for years, we've been in so many skyscrapers, and here we are taking pictures?" One woman, who lives in Manhattan, replied "Yes, but you need to do this to remind yourself just how special it is sometimes. We tend to take it for granted." I agree. We don't usually stop to enjoy what we've got available to us.
I took several more pictures, and turned to head back to the meetings. I was immediately struck by three photos hanging on the wall. All were similar, but each had a different feel. They were pictures of steam trains, at night, moving through small towns. Every photo was a different town, but at a similar angle with similar lighting. The town names were documented, as were the times the photos were taken, all around 5am. The photographer was someone I'd never heard of before, O. Winston Link. I decided to find out more about him, and was surprised to see how accomplished he was. He even has a museum dedicated to his work. I doubt I have many reasons to get to Roanoke, but if I do this will be one stop I make. Below is one photo which was hanging in the room, but not part of the three that had caught my eye. This is a very evocative photo, conjuring up images of my parents' teen years. I do miss the drive-in theaters.
It amazed me how much art there was on the 44th floor, enough to keep me occupied for some time. However, I had meetings to attend. So I took time during lunch and breaks to go out and look at the other pieces. Even if you're the most avowed anti-capitalist, it's hard to argue that art can't thrive in a free market. I certainly see plenty, some not as enjoyable, in the offices I visit.
But it's hard to beat the natural wonder of a view from a high floor in New York. So I'll just leave you with a few other pictures I took. When I was much younger, I played softball on the fields visible in Central Park. Tore my ACL playing catcher, a position I am not suited for and decided to fill in only because nobody else was willing to play it. There wasn't even a play at the plate to make it an exciting story.
A view south and west, downtown.
8th Avenue looking downtown.
Central Park and the Upper East Side, looking north and east.
Central Park and UES with Columbus Circle's Northwest corner.
I love cityscapes - these are great pictures. I'm always awed by the fact that buildings are all ontologically? (as it were) the same; yet aesthetically, each one is totally unique in it's materials and form.
I can admire the skyscrapers and will visit the Empire State Building when I'm in NYC. But I could not live in one or work in one. I have always felt this way and 9/11 might have reinforced it. The problem is I know too many engineers and I understand gravity. Gravity always wins in the end.
I was in Tel-Aviv for a week in 2001, prior to 9/11.
One of the most interesting weeks of my life. A great city, very young, very vibrant. Very expensive, too!
Luckily, that was the least of my worries since I was there on business. I stayed at a hotel across the street from the beach, up 16 stories, had a great view of the mosque across the street.
We walked south on the beach to Joppa, where we had a terrific seaside dinner.
We also spent time in a district known for its Bauhaus architecture, and had an excellent steak dinner.
Having the Tel-Aviv team to New York was a regular event, having us go to Tel-Aviv was not as usual. I'm not sure why, but I think it had more to do with them wanting to have a holiday in NYC than it had to do with any real business they got done.