Saturday, June 18, 2005

A modern view with the same superlative

I came across the following lines of poetry by proud New Jersey-ite/New Yorker Allen Ginsberg in an anthology the other day. They're from a poem called "My Sad Self" dedicated to Frank O'Hara.
Sometimes when my eyes are red
I go up on top of the RCA Building
and gaze at my world, Manhattan --
my buildings, streets I've done feats in,
lofts, beds, coldwater flats
--on Fifth Ave below which I also bear in mind,
its ant cars, little yellow taxis, men
walking the size of specks of wool-- ...
It was written in October 1958, at a time when the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center (now the G.E. Building) boasted the second highest observatory deck on the island. A decade and a half later, it would become the third highest. But now, when it re-opens to visitors this fall, the G.E. view will be the second highest again, as David Dunlap points out in this Times article.

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