Monday, October 28, 2013

Does it really have to be THAT big?

You just have to love the Americans and in particular the 'Noo Yawkers'.  People call them 'edgy' -- another way of saying loud, aggressive and in your face.  But I like that.  Many years ago I made the huge mistake of being polite when it was raining and there were no cabs around and I suggested that a lady should take the cab instead of me.  She looked at me like I was mad and then jumped back as some other guy elbowed us aside and jumped in.  As the cab drove off she gave me a look and just snarled out "schmuck".  (OK, she actually said "dumb ass" but "Schmuck" sounds like it could fit better).

But there was no ill feeling in that parting.  Noo Yawkers always simply have somewhere to go, something to do and "NOW, so get the lead out buddy!!"

And I also love the big buildings.  But really, do they have to be that big?

Let's look back and see what was happening when they were all built and take a look at some of the things that were going on at the time: 1920's boom and then 1930's catastrophic bust in the main.

So labour was cheap and plentiful which helped but really did they need to be that high?  New York was a big city, for sure, but it wasn't bigger than other major cities with lower rise buildings -- London for example had a far bigger population at the time.  Also space wasn't really at a premium either.  Manhattan may be an island but it's a really big island.  So really why do they need such a big post office?  And it's one of many.

Left hand side…

… Right hand side …

… and round the corner too!

The answer is quite simple.  They did it because they could.

And what a job they made of it too.  Some, no much of the craftwork is just lovely.  It's not something you pick up at Home Depot either.

The original big guy … but really take a look at the building next door.  The work is magnificent.

The new big guy … #1 World Trade Centre, 1776 feet high and the tallest building in North America.  And yes I bet you can guess why they made it 1776 feet tall!

And my favorite, the Chrysler Building on 41st and Lexington

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