Like most women of good taste with the exception of Kim Basinger I find Alec Baldwin irresistible. His obvious wit and intellect shine through the worst of movies and glow in the best of them, and the charm of 3o Rock was more than enhanced by his presence. I found his being in the Hamptons made that near-unbearable sense of isolation palatable with the occasional viewing. So to see him on the cover of today's New York Magazine saying he has had it with living in this city makes my own malaise seem more than reasonable.
True, our situations are not the same: a slew of paparazzi are not waiting outside my building hoping for my next set-to. Nor have I achieved to the least degree the sense of connection I was sure New York would provide. And to come home, if I dare to call it such, after the first sunlit walk in weeks through the black-iced park, to the sight of heavily armed police-- submachine guns, no kidding, and a tank-like patrol car in the street alongside the Essex House next door-- did little or nothing to alleviate my suspicion this is less than the haven for art it might have seemed in an earlier(much) era, and not the right move for one who was, until quite recently, sure that much good still lay ahead.
Behind me, right behind what I see from my tiny terrace, is the looming tower of the great edifice on 57th, that is purported to contain apartments that are priced at 98 million. I think it would be fair to assume they will not be occupied by New Yorkers, or even other execrable Americans, like Donald Trump. There have already been complaints that the shadow cast by a building of that height will have deleterious effects on the trees in Central Park, which remains, even in the bleak, a masterwork. I am moved to remember when the apartments above Carnegie Hall were a haven for the hot Marlon Brando, who I know Alec Baldwin must have admired, as he has obvious taste and also was at Christie's or maybe it was Sotheby's pre-auction exhibition of Brando's effects, which were fascinating and endless as the man was a pack rat. A pack rat of distinction of course, but a pack rat nonetheless. And I wonder what Marlon would have made of his tasteful stomping ground being made into an etcetera, an overpriced by-the-way for Orientals or Middle Easterners who had no intention of actually living here, but only needed someplace to hang their fez while passing through on their way to the next acquisition.
There was that hazardous incident already caused, with the broken-off tipped-over crane and that building, tying up traffic and imperiling pedestrians for weeks. What has to happen for people to learn?
What a world, what a world the bad witch from the original Oz might have noted. Or maybe just what a city, what a city.