3 PM Wednesday 1 July 2012 Megabus World Tour outside Newcastle
This building is the ugliest building in Newcastle. Sticking out of the semi-ancient sandstone beauties of Newcastle like a raisin in a fresh fruit salad.
That’s what I felt twelve years ago. It’s now beautiful to me and I’m distressed that it is to be torn down.
The Twin Towers in New York. When they were built they were a waste of the people’s money – built with bridge and tunnel toll money. Money that could have been plowed into the New York City subway system. And ugly – two fingers sticking out of the mountain of Lower Manhattan. [Not that I had seen that symbolism at the time.]
People forgot what ugly buildings they were. Every day I saw the I wished they weren’t there. They were no true New Yorker’s favorite building. The Chrysler, the Dakota, the RCA Building, the Chanin, Lever House, the other Metropolitan Life Building, the Flatiron Building, or even the old or new ATT Buildings. But never, ever did a New Yorker mention the Twin Towers. Never.
God intervened in his mysterious, albeit sad, way, to remove that blot on the New York skyline – he had answered my prayers. Yet today I miss the World Trade Center and I don’t even live in New York anymore.
I still wouldn’t have wanted it built but once it was in place, let it be, let it rest and let’s get used to it, and if it doesn’t work, let’s find some way to make it work. Think of the O2 Arena in Greenwich? Who could have forseen that ever being useful?
A few years back I visited Montgomery Place – an ancient pile (by American standards). Right next to my old school, Bard College, overlooking the majestic Hudson River.
A cheap late 20th century card table conspicuously occupied pride of place in the 18th century manor house. The house was left as the last owner had it, along with the Queen Anne tables and Audubon bird prints, or similar. At the time, it grated. Now, I think: brilliant. An ancient card table. In ten or twenty year, that card table will be considered “ancient”.
I don’t love the ugliest building in Newcastle. But I can envision the day when I will miss it. I can envision the day when Geordies will miss it. Just as I miss the World Trade Center.
Let’s let all building stand.
>>>> I am in Edinburgh. Will start blogging about that. See me at two shows a day, except Wednesdays.