Archive for December, 2011

This View in Ink

I found this print of a                                             York where the other day
drawing of the Manhattan                                            I had it framed by the
skyline in a cardboard                                                  nice lady at the frame
box at an Upper West                                              shop in Clinton Hill. And
Side antique store                                                 between the traveling, the
sometime in the fall of                                              storage, the moves and
1993. It was framed, but                                          lives and reframing, the
since I had no room for it                                             drawing never looked
on the plane to the Twin                                           better than in this black
Cities, I left the frame in                                               wooden Italian-made
a closet at my friend’s                                                    frame with acid-free
apartment and merely                                             matting meticulously cut
brought along the rolled                                             and all the proportions
-up print. A few months                                               perfect as ever. In the
later, I returned to New                                            drawing you see the mid
York and realized I could                                                   and lower parts of
take the steel frame apart                                                Manhattan from the
and leave only the glass,                                         perspective of the Empire
and the following year I                                              State Building, with the
moved to Denmark and                                            Brooklyn and Manhattan
fitted the frame with a                                            bridges looking so fragile
new pane of glass. For                                              and matchstick-like and
years I had this drawing                                             the Verrazano-Narrows
of New York on different                                            Bridge out there on the
walls in rooms where                                              horizon, and it strikes me
people came and went                                                     that this view in ink
and then I moved back to                                     has accompanied me most
the US and my oldest                                                of my adult life and that
brother stored the picture                                       the two towers were built
until the frame once                                                  as I was being born and
again was taken apart and                                      were there when I bought
the print brought to me. It                                                this drawing at the
then traveled with me                                              antique store, the towers
back across the Atlantic                                                    that Norman Mailer
and was rolled-up in San                                         called two Kleenex boxes
Francisco for a few years                                         and that today I nailed to
until we moved to New                                               the wall above my desk.

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