Friday, October 17, 2008

Slaves


This is one of my favorite views -- the tops of the old Metropolitan Life tower (left) and the New York Life tower from outside my building. When I step onto the street and look up, this is my view. It's especially nice at night when the buildings are lit.

The Metropolitan Life tower was built in 1909, and sometimes it's lit with colored lights. But it's a noble looking building and the colors make it look tawdry; plain white light suits it better. Last I heard, it was supposed to become condos, though I'm not sure that's still the plan.

The New York Life tower is prominently featured in the company's ads. It was built in 1928 on the site of the old Madison Square Garden, which subsequently moved across town. It's still in use as an office building.

I'm reading "Slaves of New York" by Tama Janowitz. I read it when it first came out in the mid-1980s, and I loved it -- it's one of the few books I've saved all these years. No question it fed my interest in New York, which I hadn't even visited at that point. Now, living here, I thought it would be interesting to read it again. I just finished a story in which a woman looks at an apartment on Third Avenue in the 20s -- and I thought, "Hey! That's MY neighborhood!" (Her apartment sounded a lot nicer than mine, though!)

8 comments:

Reya Mellicker said...

Your apartment sounds wonderful to me. You live well, have wonderful views, too. Just read Janelle's post (at Ngorobob Hill House) about greed, so I'm thinking about those of us who live more modestly than some, and how much sense that makes to me. You, Steve, live well but are not ostentatious. One more reason to admire you.

I remember Slaves of New York vividly. I read it way back when I was still reading novels. I so enjoyed it. Let me know how it is now. Is it dated?

Barbara said...

What a beautiful view you have. But then there aren't too many views in NYC that haven't been part of someone's book. I'll bet more novels have taken place in that city than any other in the US. Don't you sometimes want to time travel back as you walk down the street?

tut-tut said...

How lucky to see that every day! Whatever happened to Tama? She was quite big in the 1980s.

J. David Zacko-Smith said...

That is a great view. Both of those buildings are awesome. I'll have a nice view when my new place is done two - many of downtown Buffalo's historic buildings will be visible from my bedroom, and look great at night (including the very cool Liberty Building, crowned by two Statue of Liberties):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_Building

Salty Miss Jill said...

Great view. I'm jealous!

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

I just see the garden and the St. Francis Creamery from my windows. Though that's pretty nice -- urban but not uber-urban.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

nice view... from my house, I see other housetops and trees. small city living. what has happened to tama janowitz! sorry to say, I haven't thought of her in quite a while! life happens hers and mine.... and I did move inland in '97 and away from the nyc glow!

lettuce said...

:-(

was sure i'd left a comment here...

:-(