Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Countdown to Thanksgiving: I am Thankful for . . . the Chrysler Building

With Thanksgiving a little over a week away, I thought I'd make an effort to come up for air and concentrate on the things that make life worth living. Today, I am thankful for the Chrysler Building.

Every morning, I come up from the subway basement of the Chrysler Building, through the Moroccan marble lobby, and out the revolving doors onto E. 43rd to head up to my office on Second Avenue. Every square inch of the place is Art Deco beautiful - from the tiniest detail on the stair railings to its automobile-inspired steeple. Something about the place lifts my spirits, no matter how much of the weight of the world I'm carrying on my shoulders.

It makes me proud to be human. A human being (William Van Alen) designed this gorgeous piece of functional art. Human beings built it and maintain it. Is it a monument to greed (Walter Chrysler's)? Well, yeah, that's human, too, but when I look at the building, I don't think "greed," I think "Wow!"

And on those walks from the office to Grand Central on winter evenings, I'm rewarded with an amazing view of the spire of the Chrysler Building lit up like, well, like the Chrysler Building. It never fails to take my breath away. For just a moment the problems of the day evaporate. I mean, look! Look what we are capable of doing, achieving! So, press on, knowing that though human, perhaps even little me can contribute something (nothing on the level of the Chrysler Building, of course).

So today, and for all those glorious mornings and dark winter evenings, I am thankful for the Chrysler Building.


jomoore said...

I love this post, Mary. I must say that the Chrysler Building is one of my favourite buildings too, and I envy your familiarity with it (I'm not sure that that came out right... I hope you get my meaning!).
I may just follow your lead (i.e. totally steal your idea) and contemplate the things I'm thankful for over on my blog over the next few days, despite being a Thanksgivingless Brit! Watch that space...

Anonymous said...

Sis, does Jo know your British Thanksgiving in July story? Thanks to Jeannie.
Last week while I was in NYC I made an extra effort to gaze up at the Chrysler building. It is the most beautiful in the city. I did discover the Central Synagogue on E.55th. St. and fell in love with the onion domes and the facade of that beautiful building. A real gem in the city.

MaryB said...

Jo - I've never understood why Brits don't celebrate Thanksgiving. I mean it was a bunch of (granted, disgruntled) Englishmen who started it (with those folks who already lived over here). I think you should crank it up over there. It's the perfect holiday - great food, no presents, late afternoon naps . . .

Bro - I think I posted about my
4th of July Thanksgiving once. I'll see if I can find it.

Liz said...

It is a beautiful building. And a reminder - like the ancient old cathedrals - of just what man is capable of.

jomoore said...

I don't think we like to be too thankful - we're too busy moaning! ;o)

chux said...

Mary this post reminds me that my daughter is performing 'a hard knock life from Annie' at a local talent evening. She's playing the part of Molly who has the line in the song, "You'll stay up till this dump shines
like the top of the Chrysler Building".

thought i'd share that with you :)

tamarika said...

Mary, This is a great idea: Count down to Thanksgiving.

I hope you don't mind me borrowing it?

MaryB said...

Jo - well, just quit the moaning and roast a turkey, a great moaning-chaser, to my mind.

Chux - yes! Hard Knock Life - I think of the song every time I see the building.

Tamarika - be my guest. Be just as thankful as you like! Cheers!