A City’s Travails, A Cat’s Tale

19 Jul 2020 | 04:41

Pandemania - No matter what you call the scourge (COVID, covid, CV, cv, pandemic), it’s here, we’ve got it. For how long? We’ll find out. Believe the pols, the scientists, the media, your neighbor, up to you. What we do know is that life’s going on in the big city - of NYC I speak - for better or worse.

Buildings keep tumbling down - The pandemic hasn’t deterred JP Morgan and Rudin Management from moving forward with their plans to raze the office tower at 415 Madison Ave. 48th/49th St. to make way for JP Morgan & Co’s new headquarters. So look for the 24-story tower to come tumbling down. Rudin Management Co. has made the demolition proposal to the city and will be using development rights they’ve acquired from JP Morgan to erect the edifice that will include pedestrian access to a planned LIRR concourse under Grand Central Terminal, as reported by Bloomberg News. Hate to see it go - it had great office space, some with terraces, and a penthouse. At one time, when he was going to make a run for president, Rudy Giuliani’s campaign had office space in the building.

Scaffolding collapses, so does a vacant building - The East 30s haven’t fared too well recently. A portion of the four-story building at 211 East 34th St. came crashing down onto the adjacent construction site of an excavation project at 34th St and Third Ave. Unrelated, but later in the day, scaffolding collapsed on East 36th St. near Lexington Ave., as reported in the NY Post. In the first incident, traffic was backed up. No injuries or missing persons were reported. In the latter, one person was killed and three others were injured.

A good scaffolding story - Except for inclement weather, scaffolding’s a blight, an eyesore, sometimes a danger. Other descriptors invited. That being said, it was nice to be able to dine outside under the scaffolding covering Bread & Wine’s cafe at 92nd/93rd and Lexington. The scaffolding’s also protection for the produce and carts that stand outside the West Side Market several steps south of Bread & Wine.

Back to big screens? - The marquee at the now-closed Orpheum movie house on 86th and Lexington makes me think that maybe, just maybe, they’ll be re-opening. What started out as the wraparound marquee where men (I saw only men) putting up the letters that would spell out whatever films were playing was first with unreadable lighted letters, and replaced with notice to check your app for films and times. That didn’t go over well with Third Ave. bus riders hoping to see what was playing and when as the bus passed the marquee. Now the marquee’s simply a curved, metal wraparound announcing “AMC” on one side and “Orpheum” on the other. Maybe there’s a big screen in our future!

Welcome Harmony - It’s been about a year that my cat, Mollie McGee, and I have been going it alone. Time for a newbie and back to Crossed Paws in NJ where I adopted Gracie Allen 10 years ago and who’s no longer with us. Immediately came word that, yes, there was an older cat, 9, female, who was in foster care after being rescued from under a warehouse where some nice folks were feeding her. Picture sent. Pretty girl, black and white. Name, Harmony. When I’m adopting a cat with a name, I like keeping it and then add my own branding. So Elvis became Elvis Presley. Betty became Betty Boop. Gracie became Gracie Allen. But Harmony, that was a hard one. Until I called her Harmony Grits. That made me smile. Mollie not so much. And with that and all due respect to kernel hominy, Harmony’s got true grit and a forever home.