Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Hole That Was St. Denis

A dream-like dispatch from author Elizabeth Wurtzel (who lives above the hole in the ground that was the St. Denis building, whose illustrious history and miserable death you can read all about here):

I have no idea what is in the dirt next door, but my guess is Love Canal, sewage from the Mississippi, cigarette butts, marijuana ash, slave remains, rats, mice, Three Mile island, Mount Etna, Mount Saint Helen, Dust Bowl, Adam, Eve, serpent, Satan, Chernobyl, Berlin Wall, acid rain, asbestos, uranium, geraniums, 9/11, 7/11, Donner Party, bird beaks, pigeon claws, squirrel tails, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Mafia hits washed up from the East River, cocaine, syringes, works, broken bottles, Bataan Death March, Manila massacre, Boston Tea Party, frog legs, goldfish, rusty pipes, mutant ninja turtles, alligators from Florida, red algae, yellow fever, Agent Orange, bubonic plague, gold teeth, silver spoons, copper wires, iron ore, Crest with fluoride, whitening strips, stripper tips, dollar bills, twenties laced with cocaine, subway tokens, expired MetroCards with unused fare, tickets to see Star Wars in 1976, bicentennial souvenirs, gutta-percha, cat guts, doll parts, golf balls, tennis racket strings, cashmere socks, polyester, rayon, pylon, nylon, Mylar, warped vinyl, scratched CDs, crispy leaves, shredded lettuce, tarnished keys, queen bees, xerox paper, pepper spray, Prozac pills, poppers, pooper scoopers, hula hoops, leis, fecal matter, aborted fetuses, snot, rot, cots, bots, shot glass shards, broken windows, chimney smoke, dice, playing cards, poker chips, lollipop sticks, toothpicks, used tissues, toilet water, wolf fangs, sunburn peel, hangnails, cavities, skin, split ends, fur balls, chicken bones, dissected cadavers, Big Bang, Little Miss Muffet, Humpty Dumpty, Rip Van Winkle, bog wood, petrified forest, primordial ooze, love letters, promises kept and broken.


Brian said...

This is rough. When such a treasure of a building is torn down and replaced by a poorly designed gimmicky "modern" building, it changes peoples' way of life forever. This transfer of identity is just too much to compute in one's head. I commend you for keeping your eyes open during this horrible procedure. I don't plan on passing Broadway and 11th Street for the next decade or two. By then I might be priced out NYC.

tara said...

This is so heartbreaking. Such a beautiful building - gone... There are just no words. It WILL be hard to pass this corner ever again. Thank you for helping the memory of the St. Denis live on -- if only through words and images. Kathryn O'Connor