Thursday, January 4, 2007

NYC's Hypodermic Needle Monument

Manhattan's great phallus - or hypodermic needle, depending on one's perspective. Whatever your imagery, it's still impressive, particularly when one reflects on how quickly it was built, and when it was built - in the darkest, pre-New Deal days of the Great Depression. And in the post-9/11 world of New York City tourism, I think it has enjoyed a psychological resurgence in the minds of New Yorkers and visitors. It draws our attention - albeit momentarily - from the hole in the ground at the base of Manhattan. Granted, they're now constructing the "Freedom Tower" downtown and in just a few years it will rise to dominate the skyline. For those of you with younger kids always on the lookout for good picture books, take a look at the recent Sky Boys, about the construction of the Empire State Building. It has a nice story, introduces a bit of history, and is beautifully illustrated.

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