The last several days I’ve been walking down Bowery and the blocks just on the East and West sides of Bowery, enjoying looking at the building facades. I look at them as sculptures, just enjoying the way that time and the elements have worked on them.
I just finished reading Edward Wallant’s early 60’s novel The Tenants of Moonbloom, about a guy who manages tenement buildings in Manhattan and about the tenants who live in them. There’s a wonderful description of one of the tenement blocks, a block much like those I’ve been visiting. He writes that the block has “the gritty complexity of a broken rock.” I think it’s really one of the finest descriptions of a New York City street ever written.