Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mad World

I so often take the long way home. Last Thursday instead of jetting into the subway, drawn by the oncoming sunset, I walked from my piano lesson on the Upper East Side to the upper bound of the Q at 57th and 7th. I took most of the walk on Madison Avenue, realizing I hadn't experienced it in some time.

Up through high school, when I spent (too) much time on the Upper East Side, I did walk a lot. But I didn't notice the buildings the way I do now, the bizarre mix and mingle of them. I thought I'd take a minute to call your attention to a few of the odder sights I encountered, nestled within the otherwise innocuous grand buildings and gleaming brownstones.

First up, check out the statue perched atop the Hermes store. (You'll have to scroll down a bit.) I want to say the building is ugly with all of its glass. But there's something appealing about it all lit up in the twilight, to say nothing of the incongruity of the equestrian up there. Very Napoleonic if you ask me.

Then there is a mansion on 64th and Madison (of which the internet declines to provide me a picture): stately yet inviting, the windows looked warm on this unseasonably-cold evening. Apparently home to something like JPMorgan Private Customers (I can't recall exactly and the internet is shadily unclear).

I think the winner of the most beautiful building award probably resides just a block down. Similar to the other banky edifice (and similarly, 20-grumpy-minutes-later-ly, unlinkable), it's apparently home to BNY Wealth Management. If I were richer, no doubt I would know what this meant. Alas, only window shopping for me.

Speaking of, I will leave you with a perplexing window display for a certain perfume: full of bold inquiries about whether you have made it "down" to the High Line (gosh, it sure is far away from the lives of the rich & famous up here), and, at least for this viewer, idle ruminations about whether one would want to smell like elevated train tracks. Suppose, in fairness, they refer to the (beautiful! scented!) flowery aspects of the now-park...but I find it a peculiar campaign. I think I will stick to scenting the park in its full, three-dimensional, downtown glory.

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