New Yorkers are fairly fond of their views. At least those that have some. But views in New York can be fleeting. And they're certainly always changing. That's why when I'd heard that Gouverneur Healthcare Services was getting ready to under a rather massive expansion program, I started to get nervous about one of our four teensie views of the East River.
You see, Significant Eater and I live on the 15th floor of our building. We fell in love with our apartment when we first walked into it six years ago, because of the views and "the light" - why do realtors always talk about "the light" as if it's some sign from the heavens that all is well in the universe? Jeez, there's a realtor in DC who showed us an apartment on the first floor (albeit of a very nice building) that had its shades drawn because the only windows in the apartment looked out upon the building next door, who spoke of "the light" in glowing terms. Yeah, I wanted to say, the light's great - because you have all the fucking lights on!
But back to Gouveneur and our views - SE and I can see four slivers of the river from our bedroom window. Slivers, mind you, with the Manhattan Bridge just visible in the background. And it's not like the view from our living room windows, protected as it is by the fact that we overlook Seward Park - looking out over parks is a really good thing, because you can't generally build big buildings in parks in NYC - though looking out over Seward Park and it's playgrounds can sometimes be annoying, what with all the shouts and screams of children having a good time making their way up to our apartment. No, this is a view that over time is likely to change, just as the skyline all around the lower east side is changing. Tall buildings, Blue building, Gertel's building, every time I hear of a new project, I wonder how our "light" is gonna change.
So, after looking at the renderings for the new expansion, I started to get really worried. I mean, take a look see...
That thing is huge. So, I started to get out my protractor (yeah, like anyone uses one of those), and started calculating vectors and shit, just to figure out if one of (maybe my favorite) our slivers was going to disappear. SE was kinda getting sick of hearing me complain about the building...she prefers to take the view that if there isn't anything you can do about it, why worry. God, she's so zen. And for a year, all they were doing was foundation work. And then, it started to grow up...and here's a diary of photos...
August 24, 2009 - called my doctor and asked for a refill of my Xanax prescription. Note 2 of our 4 slivers - see, I told you they were slivers.
September 1, 2009 - noted the appearance of girders intruding into river view - started to think about using Gouveneur's mental health services. Glad to be thinking about an apartment in DC; helps take my mind off this project, if only for minutes.
September 18, 2009 - after returning home from one of our round-trips to DC, lo and behold it looks like the sliver view might be retained after all. Very happy...called doc for prescription for Ritalin.
September 21, 2009 - And so it goes. Building topped off, and for now our sliver remains. It's good to be zen about these things.
September 22, 2009 - Oh, how do I know it's topped off? Well, they plant one of these on the roof when a building is topped off. I think it's called, ummm, a topping off ceremony, and it's done for practically every construction project in the city.
But really, do you think I was that worried about losing a precious bit of view? Nah, not me. I like to think about how health care services will improve in our neighborhood. Especially for people who can't afford quality health care. I'm not getting started on politics here, though. And the project will eventually bring lots of jobs and increased revenue to the neighborhood as well, which is a good thing.
I've also learned a thing or two regarding complaining about things you have no control over, thanks to SE. Whether or not it'll change how I react to things remains to be seen - or at least until the next large construction project starts taking place outside our windows.