In this whole district, the pretentious and ubiquitous New York Art-Deco fights with even more overwhelming haste, dust and cars which squeeze into the not-too-wide, though regularly perpendicular streets. Hardly anyone looks at the ceiling full of constellations in the Grand Central Terminal and other decorations full of gold and arches. Even thoughtlessly standing in a completely unorganized queue for coffee. Maybe rightly so – as soon as you look up, to look at this or that, someone squeezes in front of you in the queue.
Maybe even this sharp, direct, even kitschy, Art Nouveau on the walls of buildings or of the spire of the Chrysler building (built in the building’s shaft not to betray to its competitors by chance, how high it will ultimately be) rhymes with the uncompromising and aggressive nature of this city.
In the building of Daily News, a newspaper that has always dealt with scandals from the upper classes, the globe is still spinning and you can still read the facts themselves, e.g. what is the distance to Alpha Centauri, but the editorial office is not here anymore – it was bought and moved to a less exquisite building.
And the UN. Also a fight of contradictions. The rooms and the gardens, full of pacifist art, look at politicians and diplomats, who often care for the narrowly understood interests and image of their nation. Chagall’s stained glass windows, a copy of the sputnik, a sculpture of a knotted gun, norwegian mural about peace and freedom in the Security Council chamber, a sculpture of a Russian artist forging a plough from a sword, a counter of billions of dollars spent this day by the world on the military – all this is trying to calm the hot-tempered national heads. One has the impression that the organization that these nations create is on the war with the nations themselves, appealing to them for both funds for functioning, as well as for humanitarianism and ordinary decency.
(with mum, July 2018)