I had the weirdest day. On Thursdays the interns take field trips to other museums for tours, etc. Today, we were scheduled to go to the Sky Scraper musuem. So we arrive at the Woolworth Building (City Hall, near the Brooklyn Bridge) and I'm thinking we'll be shoved into an elevator that will open to the muesum.
We stood in the lobby for a while and this guy in a pink dress shirt and brown pants who is carrying light bulbs starts asking what we're interested in….architecture, engineering, design? (The answer is design). Without introducing himself he just randomly starts talking about the building and pointing out sculptures, most of which no one know who they are a depiction of. All twelve of us have to make a tight circle to hear him, because he starts talking, then mumbles the end of each sentence. His attitute is kind of like, “Well, you know, whatever, here's some stuff. I guess I'll tell you about it.”–yet he was very knowledgable. The lobby was beautiful, and the building was built soundly and completely over fire proofed. I did figure this out.
He then takes us to the basement to show us the swimming pool. Swimming pool? He tells us that without AC (back in the day) businessmen utilized the pool on those hot 1920s summer days. We go downstairs and then enter a boiler room, then another, then walk past this huge silo thing and the rooms keep getting darker and dirtier. Where are we going?!? We finally arrive in the pool room, which, by the way is no longer in use. The pool is empty and the room is filthy. Apparenly, it was in use from 1913-1998 when Major Giuliani closed it down for “indecent male activity.”
We then walk past the boiler rooms and he starts taking us….I don't know where. But we walk down some hallways, still in the sub-sub basement, and through doors that only come up to my waist. I feel like I'm in the Willy Wonka factory. We're all looking at each other wondering, “where the hell are we going?” It occurs to me, I don't even know why this guy is give us a tour! Does he even really work there? Where is the Sky Scraper Museum? He is seriously showing us stuff in dark hallways filled with forgotten tools and materials. And an anvil! In one room, we enter and its filled with boxes and other weird stuff up to my shoulders. “I brought you in here to see the boxes! Haha, just kidding.” He then shows us all the plaster moldings for the building, which, can no longer be used, despite the fact that he spent about 6 months organizing them.
Eventually, we get in an elevator and are shot up to the 56th floor, where there really is a glass elevator (Charlie and the Chocolate Facotory?), but it is no longer in use. He takes us out to this little tower, where he eats his lunch everyday, and we have an open-air, 360 degree view of the city. It was only blocks from the waterfront and Ground Zero. The view was priceless. I have to admit, it took my breath away, especially because I'd never have a view like that again–and in a week I'd have to leave my love.
Anyhow, we then go a few floors down and he shows us the original blue-prints for the building. He pulls them out of his office and unrolls them on a table. Being museum people, we gasp and their lack of conservation. He tells us that he found them in the basement, rain was dripping all over them. No one there knew how to conserve them, and no museum wanted them. So he keeps them in a roll in his office.
By now I begin to finally realize that he's like, the head of matainance or something. And I also realize that we aren't going to the sky scraper museum.
He took us to a few other floors, all of which I don't remember the significance of except that they were air conditioned and that was a nice relief. Supposedly the place is an office building, but the amount of people I saw that we're security guards I could count on one hand. It was dead. I felt like I was in a horror movie that I couldn't help but laugh at.
A few hours from when whe'd begun we were back in the lobby.
There it is.
Sarah and I on the 4th of July. She's my bestest friend here, and she's British (can you tell?)
Skyline from the Staten Island Ferry with Greg.
My self portrait in Central Park.
Liz and Julius at Coney Island. Did I mention I love to swim? And I really love to swim at the beach?