But then I knew: It's the crane that will erect the 46-story building that will obliterate the skyline view that drew me to this apartment almost 30 years ago. I won't pretend I didn't know it was coming. I've watched the preparations for years — soil decontamination started when George W. Bush was still in the White House under enormous white tents that bore the AIG logo. But when the recession deepened and AIG collapsed, the tents came down and everything stopped. Although I knew it was false, I indulged the hope that the real estate barons would write off this monstrously out-of-scale building as a bad idea.
The vaguely greenish rectangle to the left of the crane is the UN tower. Immediately to the right, with its fantastic crown hidden in the mist, is the Chrysler building. Further to the left — out of the frame and obscured by clouds — are the top few floors and mast of the Empire State building; about five years ago the rest of it disappeared behind another new building only half the size of the one this crane will erect.
The lights and towers of the New York skyline have cheered me through happy times and comforted me at some of lowest moments of my life. On so many July 4ths, we watched the fireworks through that window. When my mother died, I stood at the window imagining her young and laughing, out on the town with my dad. Since 9/12/2001, I have said goodnight to the New York skyline every evening — a small ritual, but one that has become important to me. So I've decided to chart the progress of the new building, as well as my grief for my disappearing view, in occasional posts here.
I wonder what the terns will think.