The Unbearable Banishment: House of Worship

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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.

 The 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.

*     *     *

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 oversized. Ornaments. Egos. Problems. Everything. 


Blogger savannah said...

*sigh* now that's a room with a view, sugar! xoxoxoxo

December 5, 2012 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

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'.

December 5, 2012 at 2:43 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Room with a view = $$$$$$.

Just keeping it real.

December 5, 2012 at 2:47 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

I do remember the orb! And the orgasmatron. Man. When are they going to invent that shit for real? Have you or any of your ape pals ever had a face full of porcupine quills? Looks painful as hell.

December 5, 2012 at 2:49 PM  
Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

Primates are generally smart enough to avoid sticking their faces into porcupines, but I'll let you know if it happens. Do you remember the noises they made inside the orgasmatron? Didn't sound like great orgasms to me, but maybe quality isn't that important if you're frigid.

December 5, 2012 at 5:52 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

I would gladly accept a crummy, half-baked orgasmatron orgasm. It's not like I have a lot of options to choose from.

December 5, 2012 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger OldLady Of The Hills said...

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....!

December 5, 2012 at 6:19 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

Huge Baubles! :¬)

December 5, 2012 at 8:24 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

A movie palace! They haven't done that in a bit. I'm afraid you're ageing yourself, dear.

December 5, 2012 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

The hugest. (Is that a word or did I just invent it?)

December 5, 2012 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

I like it! :¬)

December 5, 2012 at 9:35 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

amazing view and what tremendous balls!

December 5, 2012 at 9:44 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Yes. There's no better time to have Giant Red Balls than around Christmstime. And it's ALWAYS nice to have a view.

December 5, 2012 at 10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

December 6, 2012 at 6:38 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

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.

December 6, 2012 at 7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

December 6, 2012 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger Vagabonde said...

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…

December 6, 2012 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

An exceptional view my friend, made even better by someone who truly appreciates that auld buildings are more than just bricks stacked atop of each other.

December 6, 2012 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

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.

December 6, 2012 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Try staring at this beauty with a couple glasses of good red in you. It'll make you'd knees quiver and your lip tremble. It did mine!

December 6, 2012 at 1:18 PM  
Blogger Vagabonde said...

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.

December 6, 2012 at 10:16 PM  
Blogger OldLady Of The Hills said...

Well...I am 81 years old and proud of it! (lol)....I've never understood lying about ones age, by the way....!
Radio City was and is the most BEAUTIFUL Movie Theatre I have ever been in....Everything about the whole plant was just gorgeous! Even the Ladies Room...!

December 7, 2012 at 3:03 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

I'm hearing Jerry Lee Lewis and Great Balls of Fire!
You weren't tempted to get Mrs UB's Christmas pressie?
Great pics!

December 7, 2012 at 5:01 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

My holiday shopping for my bride is complete already, believe it or not. And besides, it was beautiful stuff but very expensive for me.

December 7, 2012 at 6:51 AM  
Blogger Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

It looks lovely, but after 10 years living in bucolic New Zealand, I think I now prefer a more rural outlook. Love the balls.

December 7, 2012 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

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.

December 7, 2012 at 5:39 PM  
Blogger dinahmow said...

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.

December 7, 2012 at 11:50 PM  
Blogger AM said...

Except for the soda...that won't be oversized for much longer.

December 8, 2012 at 12:33 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

The big, BIG tree is in Rockefeller Center, not Times Square. Yes, I'll post that before the close of the holiday. I have a few other juicy shots as well. Stay tuned!

December 8, 2012 at 12:51 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Excellent point! Well played. Spoken like an insider.

December 8, 2012 at 12:52 PM  

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