Apologies for another relative slowdown here, but real life has got me in a choke-hold, and I’m trying to extricate myself. Look forward to posts soon regarding the (surprisingly) hotly contested whereabouts of the corner featured in Lou Reed’s anciently embarrassing video “My Red Joystick” and a rumination on a lost hive of bohemian insouciance on West 23rd Street by Eszter “Stranger Than Paradise” Balint (I didn’t actually speak with her — I wish! — but it’s an excerpt from a compelling book I read not too long back). Stick around for all that.
In the interim, I spotted something today that took me quite by surprise.
Regular readers *may* remember a couple entries I posted back in 2013 about the weathered Christmas caroler figures that were perched — since time immemorial — on the south-facing facade of what had been the Commodore Criterion between Broadway and Fifth Avenue. I first wrote about them here, then brought the story up to speed when they were finally removed here.
Some time afterwards, a friend of mine affiliated with Porcelanosa — the company that had bought the Commodore Criterion building — wrote in (as I mentioned in that last post) that Porcelanosa came into possession of the figures, and were open to ideas as to what to do with them.
Time went on, and the building went into a busy state of renovation, periodically covered with heavy scaffolding. I honestly stopped thinking about it, figuring the carolers were yet another bit of ephemera lost in the tireless spiral of urban development.
Imagine my surprise, then, today upon walking up Fifth Avenue, glancing at the newly finished Porcelanosa facade and spotting the below…..
ADDENDUM: I realize the title of this post cites Madison Square (i.e. the park just across Fifth Avenue from this spot), but, technically, the square directly to the South of the Porcelanosa building is named Worth Square. I suppose one could also say "the Flatiron District," but whatever. I still think of this whole area as Madison Square. Sue me.