House of Worship

I attended a jewelry party in Manhattan last week. It was held in someone’s apartment. It’s quite common. Not too far removed from the Tupperware parties of the 1950’s. You invite your friends to a party and proceed to sell them your products. Or you host a party and receive a generous discount or free merchandise.
In this case, it was the latter. One of my oldest friends—someone I met when I first moved to New York—invited me to her girlfriend’s jewelry fête. She knew I couldn’t buy anything but we hadn’t seen each other in quite some time. I can count my close, long-term friends on one hand and she’s one of them. It was great to see her. We can go long periods of time without hearing from one another and once we’re together, we pick up the thread of our last conversation as if we just spoke yesterday. It’s magic.
The apartment was on Broadway and 10th Street. It was in a building I’ve walked passed thousands of times. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live there. It’s in a perfect location. Only three blocks to The Strand bookstore. Four to Union Square park. The East Village one block east. A delicious slice of the town.
They have a balcony and because it was so freakishly balmy for a December evening, we took our glasses of vino outside to catch-up. We dished on our families and relationships. Her dog, Buddy, just passed away and she was sad. I did a post about Buddy once. He kept chasing porcupines and ending up with a quill facial. Each time it happened it cost her $400!
The apartment was on the 8th floor. In my delusional apartment fantasy, I’ve changed my mind about what to demand from the real estate agent. I will no longer insist on a unit above the 30th floor. I’ve decided that being closer to the street is the thing to do. Too high up and you miss out on all this fantastic detail.
Just look at this balcony view. My God, how some people get to live. This is looking north up Broadway to Union Square with Grace Church on the right. The ornamental floodlights pouring down are on the roof of the building across the street.
church1The light spills into the church courtyard creating creepy renaissance shadows. In the distance, steam rises off the crown of the Zeckendorf Tower. The blue clock tower is the ConEdison building on 14th Street. Were this mine, I would take my New York Times out onto the balcony each Sunday morning with my coffee. This is my idea of a house of worship. From the horrified looks on their faces, you’d think the other guests had never seen a grown man weep.
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Here’s another festive holiday snapshot for you. GIANT RED BALLS in a fountain across the street from Radio City Music Hall. Everything in this town is over-sized. Ornaments. Egos. Problems. Everything.

30 thoughts on “House of Worship

  1. I prefer to think of those red balls as orbs. Do you remember “the orb” in Sleeper, which Diane Keaton and Woody Allen played with? I’d like to see a photo of someone caressing those red orbs with a delirious facial expression. You could call it ‘Homage to Sleeper’.

  2. Porcupine Quills—Bad, Bad, Bad! Poor doggie! Love the pictures from that Balcony….and it is always wonderful to see adio City Music Hall—I spent a lot of my youth there when it was the Great Movie Palace Of The World! I LOVE NY at Holiday Time….!

  3. Don’t want to be all materialistic, but your friend must be doing very well to be able to afford that place. But leaving such venal considerations aside, I agree, that must be an endless entertainment to look out of those windows.Must agree with everyone about the baubles. Christmas is the time to be kitsch, and to overdo things.

    • Actually, I’d never met the owner of the apartment before. She merely sponsored the party. I don’t know anything about her, but it didn’t seem like she was all that wealthy. It could be a case of her having moved into the apartment a long time ago when the rent was relatively low. One of the great ironies of my life is that I can’t afford to move back into the apartment on the Lower East Side I left 12 years ago. When I first moved in, the rent was rock-bottom because the neighborhood was crime ridden. It has since been gentrified and is well beyond my range of affordability.

    • Sprry, not reading the post properly. I thought your friend owned it.There are similar places — an ever-dwindling number — like that in London, where a few people live with protected rents next door to someone paying several hundred pounds a week.

  4. I clicked on the link from Pat’s Past Imperfect blog. Glad to be here. I love New York. We were able to fly there twice this year. I guess I should have stayed in New York when I first arrived from Paris instead of going to San Francisco. Being close to The Strand would be a bonus – but I have so many books already…

    • Welcome! Stick around if you want to see some world-class bellyaching and complaining. San Fran is a beautiful city. You did the right thing. NYC isn’t going anywhere. You can come back! What’s this nonsense about too many books? I don’t understand this concept of yours.

    • I live near Atlanta now, unfortunately. I said too many books because I have been collecting them for decades and cannot part with them. By now I must have close to 5000 or more, so they are in every room, every shelf, etc.

    • Most people find this über urban setting better to visit than live in. I call those people “normal.” It can be harsh and unforgiving. But whatever psychological damage is required to make one actually want to live here I must have in abundance.

  5. I keep re-reading your “out and about” posts.But you already knew that!Giant, glistening orbs/balls. Wonderful!Whispers very quietly…please can you post a picture of the Times Sq tree?It’s just not the same deal when the countryside is up in smoke and the mercury’s ever-rising.

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