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Workers are dismantling the scaffolding around the Columbia House, across Broadway and 96th street. The sounds of their hammers hitting the layers of wood over the heads of pedestrians arrive here with a s delay there it is again, that speed of sound. The planks that used to secure the workers from falling off the protective roof are already gone, their floor is next. Soon there will be only a skeleton of metal rods, then just the dirty imprints on the sidewalk, then just a memory. There will be the memory of the fire on that very scaffolding almost a year ago, there will be memories of the shade on the sidewalk on Broadway.
The trees will continue to avoid the scaffold in their memory, growing around a then invisible obstacle for the next few years.
In the lobby of the building in which I am writing this there are framed reproductions of photographs of the neighborhood. There is a picture of the subway being dug, which was about 100 years ago, there is a photograph of a tabacco shop on the corner that used to be a place called Fowadwhen I moved here and probably many other places before that and which is now a pretty generic and not very well designed branch of Washington Mutual, another bank (there are three of them here now). The entrance to the subway, which I enter every morning used to be an ornate structure that would now be a landmark, if it only had survived. Symphony Space across Broadway, used to be a food mart...
This city really feels like a living river. New Yorkers being the water in it, shaping and grinding the stones as we go along. This very water helps plants of imagination grow on the banks that are now everywhere in the world. There are floods of information, there are ripples and waves and mists and downpours of rain. But as much as the waters of the Hudson travel to the ocean and back and evaporate, as much does the very idea of New York flow and evolve and invent itself with at least 8 Million thoughts per New York Minute... Oh wait, there is a little (and it is tiny) book called something just like that.

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I am not sure if you have posted this, but : ) how DO you get the lines on the images at the top?

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This page contains a single entry by Witold published on July 12, 2003 10:38 AM.

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