For the first year or two after I moved to New York, I became one of those people who smugly criticized tourists for “looking up.” “Looking up” to ogle buildings as you walked down the street (causing you to inevitably bump into real New Yorkers like me with places to go) was about the greatest sin you could commit (well, after pronouncing Houston Street “Hue-ston,” of course).
I’ve really tried to mellow out as I move into my tenth year in the city, and I now make it a point to look up. Hell, if you don’t look up, you could miss something absolutely extraordinary like this:
Don’t see it? A little closer…
See it there? Perched on top of the corner brick building? I was standing this morning at the corner of East 1st Street and 1st Avenue paying for my parking meter when I looked up and saw this.
OK, seriously – did a tornado rip through Cape Cod and drop an ocean-side house onto an East Village apartment building? Christ, who the hell lives here?? Note not only the rounded front with two levels of windows, but also the octagonal window on the right, the fantastic tower, and the horse weathervane. No kidding, a horse weathervane.
Here’s a slightly different view:
I have never seen anything like this before, and maybe one of these days, I’ll have an excuse to scout it for a film. I would love to know if this is large enough for someone to live in, or is merely an extension of an apartment. If anyone has any info, please comment and I’ll update the post.
Anyway, the real simple moral of the story: stop worrying about the tourists who are looking up and try it yourself. You might even find yourself at the nexus of the universe…