I work on the Upper East Side in New York City, and as part of my job take a walk — sometimes twice a day, when necessary — to the main building of Weill Cornell Medical College, to pick up and drop off mail at the mail room and to pick up and drop off any deliveries that may be needed among the various departments of the College. It is quite a pleasant walk, chiefly because of all of the sights that I am fortunate to see, and the beautiful architecture I can enjoy daily.

Below, you can see the entrance to the main building, which is located at 1300 York Avenue. You wouldn’t know it by looking at this entrance, but this building is enormous — it goes up and up, and outward it stretches from one side of the block to the other, and back it goes to the end of the avenue! I have spent much time getting lost in the maze of corridors and interconnecting hallways, with different sections having letter names — not that it always helps to know the name of the section!

It is not just this building that I love. Here is a building I pass every day, and wonder every time I look at it — what is the meaning of the markings on certain windows? The windows have been marked at least for the last year, and some are just plain circles while others are circles that have an X inside. Can you divine any meaning from these markings?

Here we have one of the most pretty new buildings, which is actually across the street from 1300 York and is situated at 1305 York — quite a lot of faculty are located here, as well as specialty clinics to treat people. I love the way that the whole exterior of the building is glass, and that it is not just a flat front but rather bumped and beautifully shaped.

Another building — an older building, as you will see — that I see regularly and visit occasionally is 1275 York Avenue, which is Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. When I look at it I am reminded of just how pretty newer buildings like 1305 are by contrast.

Of course, my walk is not all about buildings. I also pass an amazing coffee cart, which I will one day write about in greater detail, and quite a lot of people — doctors, workers, street cleaners, and patients from the hospitals who are trying to get a little clean air. I felt sad when I saw this woman sitting at the corner of 68th Street and York, just staring out into the street.

When I came back out of 1300 York after doing my mail run, she was still there — and I am not exaggerating when I tell you that she hadn’t changed position nor expression in that entire time, which must have been at least twenty or so minutes. I wanted to reach out and interact somehow — maybe a conversation — but my office is so busy that time did not permit it.

Lastly, I would like to leave you with this — a beautiful motorcycle that I passed by on my way back to my office. Not just any motorcycle, mind you — a hog! A real work of art, and plenty manly enough if you were looking for it.

I hope to share more of my fantastic walk with you in the future — it is quite a privilege to see such things every day.

19 Comments

  1. great cityscapes Gordon – I love the glass builing with its inbuilt curved wave ………….if you see your elderly lady again get her a single flower – it will make her day!

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  2. Nice for you to share a few of your observations and that you seem to find interest and beauty in your surroundings. I am curious too about those markings on those windows. Construction marks maybe? If the building is going to undergo renovations soon maybe it is a way for the builders to mark where they will keep windows or build balconies. Just a thought…

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        1. That is far more clever than what I came up with, which was that they were thinking really hard about what they wanted to do next.

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  3. This Harley is good, but not as good as the ‘last work of art’ you shared. I notice you apparently are a fan of purple as well. It’s a regal color. 🙂

    Given we’re looking at New York, the markings on the windows are presumably some sort of ‘statement’. It seems if there’s a controversy over anything, it starts there.
    Of course they could be notches on the proverbial wall. Almost like scoring a Dominoes game. The windows below haven’t ‘earned’ their X’s yet. 🙂

    If you get a chance, Google/Bing/Ask (take your pick 🙂 )the architectural history of Tulsa’s Oil Boom buildings erected in the early 1900’s. Tulsa’s downtown area is chock full of historical architecture repleat with images, carvings, and murals.

    I appreciate looking at well built structures. Thank you for a preview of the city I’d love to VISIT (not live in) 🙂

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    1. Happenstance? I do like the color.

      I will look into that history — thanks for the tip!

      Glad you like it — I hope to post more in the future!

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      1. Only this blog would be able to alert me to the difference. I was refreshing my memory on said definitions, and you are correct. Happenstance. 🙂

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  4. Whenever I go to the city I get lost in the architecture too. Despite growing up in NJ and spending a good chunk of my time in NYC, I sometimes still manage to feel like a first-time tourist craning my neck up in amazement!

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    1. Emily,

      I’ve lived here on and off for over a decade and still get that feeling! So many streets, you can always find something new! 🙂

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