Some people like saying “the Internets”. I like saying “the Subways” (as in Ms. Subways). The subway system in New York City is really a patchwork of different systems, all built by different companies during different times with different philosophies. Because of that subway kiosks and stationhouses are so different in style.
Usually the kiosk is built to blend in with the surroundings. For instance one in front of the Citicorp building echoes its slanted shape.
The one in front of the over the top Art Deco RCA building is also thoroughly Deco.
On the other hand right in front of the dignified Victorian station kiosk with its cast iron ornamentation you will find a supermodernistic “Sculpture for Living“.
Avenue H stationhouse (aka Fiske Terrace Station) of the Brighton line is an altogether different animal, not found anywhere else in the system. It’s an old shingled railroad stationhouse, hailing back from the day when Midwood was really just that – woods in the middle of Brooklyn.
[update] By the way, just in case I ever find a way to travel back in time, I have a ticket for that railroad ready:
Maybe when I finish One Hundred Views of the Empire State Building I’ll pay homage to Hiroshige. We’ll see.
I don’t want the Freedom Tower. I want the Twins back. This is a somewhat controversial opinion – some feel that the Twins are gone forever, together with the lives of the people on the planes, in the towers and those who came to help them.
To use M. Diddy’s expression, in Corporate America controversy is not considered “a good thing”. Chock Full O’ Nuts, for instance, removed the towers from its logo.
On the other hand, many other companies still use their old skyline logos that feature the Twin Towers. I have a much bigger collection of these logos, but it’s a little hard to find all of them.
The person who designed Evergreen Diner’s cup either chose an unusual viewpoint or just drew random boxes to represent skyscrapers around WTC.
Manhattan Mini Storage even got the positions right – Citicorp then Empire State then the Twin Towers (if you look from the park towards Brooklyn).
Midtown Electric‘s view is from Brooklyn.
The painter who worked on this kiddy ride did not strive for accuracy, but I guess for the 10 or so years that I’ve seen that particular kiddy ride around I bet nobody was confused about which particular skyline was depicted there. Can any of the Freedom Tower designs do that? Because every time I am looking at the rendering with the Freedom Tower proposals I am thinking – holy crap, that’s Philadelphia (and it looks like I am not alone in that particular opinion).
For a long time the nighttime skyline of midtown Manhattan had a small but very unsettling detail. There, amongst gleaming lights of skyscrapers, it floated. A red neon “666”. Were the Satanists so bold as to purchase a giant advertising like that? Were they that wealthy? There is a company called 999 Pharmaceutical and for a while I thought that it was actually 999 somehow reflected from a mirrored surface. I haven’t seen the red neon 666 lately and kind of stopped wondering.
Yesterday, while researching Isamu Noguchi, I noticed that he designed the lobby at 666 5th Avenue. On a whim I decided to find the picture of the building – and lo and behold – the mysterious 666 turned out to be the building number made into a decorative neon sign atop that particular skyscraper.
Known then as the Tishman Building it served as headquarters for the company that built amongst other buildings World Trade Center and John Hancock Center. They will be building the Freedom Tower as well.
In 2002 either because of 9/11 or because Tishman sold the building (although the corporation still has offices there) or maybe because they finally understood that having a giant neon 666 on a building that is right next to St. Thomas Church is not kosher, “666” was replaced with a more powerful symbol of evil – the Citicorp umbrella :
(earlier I wrote about a different evil Citi neon umbrella logo )
The top floor of the building used to house an awesome restaurant called “Top Of The Sixes”. These days it houses an exclusive cigar lounge called The Grand Havana Room. Check it out: floor to ceiling windows with views to die for, overstuffed (I’ve never heard about an understaffed one) chairs, cigar vaults with personal, shared and corporate humidors and other niceties.
Unfortunately, from what I learned on Usenet, membership is 3K per year. I guess they follow the gym pricing structure (in fact a gym membership in NYC can easily cost that much).
I also remembered that Lebedev Studio(or whatever it’s called these days) has a forwarding mailbox at 666 5th. There must be a mailbox store in the building, but I did not notice one when I was there today.
Every time I look at the Citicorp building I can’t help but think that it only stands there because LeMessurier did the right thing back then. And because of some luck.
And I look at it a lot. Unfortunately I never worked in it, but I’ve attended an organ concert in the St Peter’s Church that sits under it.