Now a quick break from the East 7th Street story. Honestly speaking, I don’t believe there’s anything I can really say to do justice to the unexpected magnitude of its affect on the neighborhood. It’s quite literally overwhelming. It has to be seen with one’s own eyes.
But as a lighter, incongruous diversion…
My daughter had to do a report on the Chrysler Building for a social studies class not too long back. In the course of same, Charlotte learned a bunch of facts about the storied landmark, but was fishing around for extra things should could mention that might distinguish her presentation from the rest of the pack. I can’t say I knew much about the fabled skyscraper that she hadn’t already addressed. I’ve been inside it once, to visit a headhunter whose normal clientele were so far above my paltry pay grade that their ears must have been popping. I remember gazing out that woman’s windows in genuine awe. It was the only good thing to come out of that exchange.
Beyond that, the only other thing that sprang to mind was the below clip by Matt Johnson’s The The, a cover of Hank Williams' “I Saw The Light” (which, you might recall, I cited in this unsolicited round-up of music videos shot on NYC rooftops). In it, we see Johnson and his hearty henchman playing manfully atop the Manhattan skyline, while Johnson boldly croons from on top of the head of one of the Chrysler Building’s art decco gargoyles. I can’t say for sure, but it looks like he actually did it (i.e. it’s not a special effect against a blue screen). Kudos for that. Here `tis again....
I showed the clip to Charlotte, who dutifully watched for a couple of seconds before getting bored.
In doing so, however, I was suddenly reminded of another clip that found a lead singer serenading the city from that same lofty perch, that being Natalie Merchant, then of 10,000 Maniacs. In re-exhuming “These Are The Days,” however, it looks like Natalie completely punked out — that’s clearly a blue screen she’s warbling in front off. Points off for that.
If I’m not mistaken, my friend Sara worked as a production assistant on this video shoot. I remember her saying that Merchant was a completely po-faced pill during the proceedings and bitterly complained about staffers smoking during a break. Sounds about right.