More on New York. I’m now convinced that the best way by far to see the city as it really is, is to arrive by air. It might not be true every day. But the day I arrived, with the sun shining through white puffy clouds that cast enormous shadows on the perfect geometry of the structures, was a feast of information as well as sensory pleasure. It’s not just a maze of concrete and steel. It is the great hive, the largest gathering of human occupation in the U.S. And we find evidence that we can do it well, because it endures. The high-rise in which I stayed, the guest of Winter’s Bone director Debra Granik and executive producer Jonathan Scheuer, although outfitted in a kind of revival Bauhaus, began its life as a 12-story, steel-girdered clothing factory, in 1907. Located between East and West Village just off Union Square, it was the beating heart of the city. The view out the big back window, past other like buildings with their antique water tanks still providing gravity fed water pressure to the inhabitants below, was of the Empire State Building.
Around one corner, a pharmacy, grocery and a Bag Store, where I found the perfect Bagannini bandolier-style messenger bag. At the other end of the block, perfect breakfast and lunch, and The Strand Bookstore with its 18 miles of books. Bibliophile that he is, I don’t see how Jonathan gets anything done. But he does. I suspect it has to do with how fast he walks. The week was over too soon. I think I’ll have to go back until I get it all seen, yes?