Sunday, 9 October 2011

Wisdom and Knowledge shall be the stability of thy times. Yesterday, a day downtown. Started at City Hall with Brooklyn Bridge stretching away over the expanse, an inevitable breathlessness at the skyline. At each moment a new eyecatcher, a new block and a new view. The sheer enormity and variety - how many ways to state intent?

The World Trade Centre site congested, felt like a hollow collecting a nation's grief, still, ten years on. New structures growing like scar tissue, stronger and irregular, absence still the dominating feature. Then towards Wall Street to interview protestors in their established camp, smaller in numbers than I expect, but with clear social organisation - public relations, press and media teams. Weather is amazing, their voice is definitely carrying further in this late summer.

Out to Greenwich village and Union Square, to markets and stalls, and then up to Grand Central Terminal, nothing short of an architectural astonishment. Sneaked into the Chrysler building, structures of power dominant in everything from typefaces to turnstiles.

5th Avenue, crowds building, remarkable flagship stores, soft spot for the Rockefeller Centre - 22 acres of objectivistic response to a Depression; the largest private building project ever undertaken. "Wisdom and Knowledge shall be the stability of thy times" sloganises the entrance.

Then through to Times Square, entering the void - everything expected and more. Found some calorific sustenance, enough to take us out of the neon heaven, a few blocks away, and up 86 floors to the Empire State observation deck, where an entirely different city revealed itself. The stability of times?

No comments: