On the Empire State Building


In our dreams, the Empire State Building hovers and glows with a radiance that is seriously awesome to behold; it is a beacon to all who seek refuge in the city, and furthermore is not — as Fay Wray tells us — unstinting or cold in this respect, even if like the rest of us it is imperfect. In reality, the building was opened on May 1, 1931, just 410 days after ground was broken at 5th Avenue and 34th Street; this, too, was the year of our parents’ birth into the “greatest” generation, the one whose long shadow we have not yet even come close to acknowledging, much less escaping.

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