I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Friday, June 9, 2017

Urban poetry

In New York, it always pays to look up.

This is the Fred F. French Building on Fifth Avenue, one of the first Art Deco skyscrapers. There are a pair of stunning faience panels at the top, with sunbursts and Assyrian-style griffins, and many years ago when I was first working in New York, I used to stand on the terraces outside our offices and look down Fifth Avenue at the north-facing panel and wonder, What the hell?

Most of the exterior is just brick, but the setbacks all have this bright terra-cotta trim in varying patterns. It's not what you notice first, but it's worth taking a look at.

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