I’ve been scouting for something around Times Square/Hell’s Kitchen over the last week (as evidenced by some of my recent posts), and I noticed this great building on 9th Ave between 52nd and 53rd.
Above each window on the second and third floor are these awesome busts of…well, I’m not really sure what. They sort of remind me of the type of creature you might run into in Dante’s Inferno, or a Greek version of Hell. Each looks pretty unhappy, and the way they’re looking suggests you on the street are the reason for their distaste.
I’d love to know what source these stem from (I’m wondering if there’s a theatrical connection due to the buildings location, perhaps the villains in a play?). I’d also love to know if the eye direction is intentional – that middle guy looks especially annoyed.
The value of this type of ornamentation is made all the more clear when you look at the two neighboring buildings in the first picture and see how boring they look in comparison.
UPDATE! – Readers Marc and Karen report that they’re green men, a popular building motif. Read all about ‘em here.