Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The Hidden Flame

This is where we begin and end ...

On The Air

We emerged onto a narrow deck, only radio antennae above us ...

The City At Our Feet

We came out into the open air and stopped in awe. The whole city was laid out at our feet...

...The skyscrapers and towers of downtown formed an island in the distant haze.

Secret In The Sky

Fire and Gold

We came to the promenade that led directly east to a sunken plaza -- the site of the ice rink in winter -- guarded by a gleaming gold statue of Prometheus, eternally stealing fire from the gods ...

Hermes at Radio City

Radio City

I kept looking at the altitude reading: over 800 feet. That had to be the very top of the tower. The old observation deck. But it had been closed for 20 years.

40°45'33.00"N, 73°58'45.60"W

Diamond Pillar

Pressing on north but not stopping, Horace pointed to a brightly coloured frieze in deep reds, greens and yellows atop a tall building on the east side of Fifth ...

... At 47th Street, at the entrance to the Diamond District, there are two light towers in the form of stylised octagonal diamonds. Horace asked me if I wanted to climb one. I didn't find it funny.

The Twins

Horace led us directly across the street to an white stone arched gate, carved with figures of the zodiac. The Gemini twins at the bottom of the left hand column freaked me out. They looked unearthly ...

In the Periodical Room

“Take a few minutes before we begin and consider these paintings,” Horace said. We sat in silence for perhaps five minutes. I felt Horace holding us in his mind with great love.
...“Like many things, they are not what they seem,” he finally said. “It is all a question of learning to look. Let us begin.”

Signal Tower Detail

Horace told me to take a close look at the top, between the traffic lights. And there again were the spiralling snakes.

Traffic Signal Tower - 42nd and 5th

Against one wall, in a glass case, was a three-foot tall model, in bronze, of what looked like an ornate, Deco-style watchtower. Along the top were three coloured lights. I said if it were lying down it would look like a mummy case. There was a framed drawing of it too, a design plan, on the wall. Terri put her hands on them and concentrated.