Thursday, October 15, 2020

Windblown.

     Vista Tower is coming along. I was strolling south on Michigan Avenue last week, and paused just north of the bridge to admire its progress. The 101-story building is the third tallest in Chicago, after the Willis Tower (sigh ... no, seriously, people have given up the Sears thing, right? Because it's been over a decade. Get with the program, folks) and Trump Tower (still going by its original name, alas). 
     Designed by Studio Gang—the same folks behind the way-cool Aqua building—Vista Tower has a very neat feature. If you look at the photo to the right, you'll notice a dark band near the top. That is the "blow-through" floor. Without it, the Chicago winds would rock the building so much people on the highest floor would get seasick. Many buildings try to counterbalance this effect with stabilizing weights, tanks of water and such. The blow-through floor allows wind to cut through the building, rather than push against it. The floor is a little taller than the regular floor, and doesn't seem as if it'll have any use for tenants. I get the impression it won't be a patio or pool or anything, but just an empty space. Which is a shame. I suppose if they clutter it with plants and deck chairs and bocce ball courts then the wind won't blow through right. 
     Maybe there will be a sly wink value to it. I can't help wondering if wisenheimers who get in trouble will say they live on the 83rd floor of Vista Tower, the way Elwood Blues tells the Department of Motor Vehicles that he lives at 1060 W. Addison (sigh, the address of Wrigley Field).
    Probably not. 
     Yes, today is a light entry. If you want, I'll give you your money back. The politics of late have been cascading over me, water off a duck's ass. Numb, maybe. Tired, disgusted, afraid; I'm not Sigmund Freud, I can't easily access the bottom of it, and don't really want to.
    Maybe I'm just waiting. The bus doesn't come any faster if you tap your foot. At some point sweating the details of this calamity is stupid. The woods are burning; do we really need to say "Oh look, that tree is on fire and that tree is on fire and this tree, and the one over there"? A big fucking forest fire. We all get it.  Now let's get on with this. 
      There came a point in the eternal O.J. Simpson trial where I just shut off, covering my ears and screeching, "Just tell me how it ends!" I don't think I'm going to watch either dueling town hall tonight, with Joe Biden on ABC, and Donald Trump on NBC. What would be the point? Anyone who didn't figure out a long time ago that Trump is a despicable con man, liar, criminal and traitor who will ruin the country, further, given the chance, is not going to grasp that now. And Biden, well, he could spend tonight's TV time teeing up newborn puppies and and perfecting his golf swing by driving them into the ocean and I'd still vote for him.

15 comments:

  1. Thanks for the info on the blow-through floor. Love Jeanne Gang's work, especially the Aqua Building. I think we got our money's worth today and then some.

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  2. The Hanc... 875 N Michigan isn’t the second tallest. After Willis, the next tallest is 401 N Wabash (the hotel/condo with the oversized sign). Then Vista, then Aon Center (née Standard Oil). The Hancock is #5.

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    1. Jesus H. Christ on a cracker! Thanks for the correction. I must have blotted out TT so completely that I never thought about it. Or, to quote Thurber's description of an aged aunt, I'm lost "in the halls and parlors of the past." Grrrrrr....

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    2. Isn't the Drumpf Tower second only due to the Daley spire?

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  3. Another great closing line.

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  4. We all need to escape, so thanks for the Vista Tower update. Seeing it on a live shot during a Bears game, I realized I haven't been downtown since they broke ground. Reading todays post immediately after finishing the Times e-edition, the F word was slightly shocking but welcome and appropriate. Years ago, while relaxing on the nineteenth hole of a golf course , we were watching coverage of the Solheim Cup, a women's golf international competition between the US and Europe. Europe was in the final minutes of a victory and Suzanne Petterson, a young Norwegian was being interviewed. In her exhuberance she exclaimed a joyful "Fuck", shocking the broadcast team who missed the chance to bleep her on the national telecast. That this beautiful young athlete never broke her celebratory smile validated her use of the forbidden word. To this day, though she has retired to raise her child, she will always be The Girl Who Said Fuck. Neil, I will also skip both candidates tonight. Listening to Drumpf sickens me almost as much as the fear that Biden will say something to hurt his campaign. Anything interesting will be rerun.

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    1. It is reported that Mrs. Trump says fuck a lot. Perhaps that's why Franklin Graham has called her our best First Lady ever.

      Tom

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  5. Hey, here's a buck. Let me pay you for today's column!

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  6. Sears Tower yesterday, Sears Tower today, Sears Tower forever!
    Another great address is 56 Joralemon St, Brooklyn, NY. It looks like a house, but it's just a false front that hides an air shaft to a subway tunnel.

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    1. Thanks, Clark. I found this intriguing so I looked it up, and found the building on this list. It’s near the bottom: http://www.scoutingny.com/the-8-best-fake-storefronts-phony-building-facades-in-new-york-city/

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  7. “Jesus H. Christ on a cracker!”
    Never heard it put quite that way.
    Priceless.

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    1. I'm guessing you didn't watch "Mad Men" on cable TV, between 2007 and 2015. Pete Campbell used to say it quite often, except he usually left out the "Jesus H." That was the first time I ever heard the "on a cracker" part. When the show was rebroadcast, some cable outlets bleeped the expression out, along with the useage of "fuck"...and some did not.

      All my life, I've wondered...what does the "H" stand for? Hebrew? There's an "H" (for Hebrew) on your Army dogtags if you're Jewish. Herschel? Harvey? ? Nothing at all, like the S. that Harry Truman sometimes used? Was it an "H" merely because it sounds good? This clueless Jew would like a clue.

      Another good Brooklyn address would be 215 Montague Street, the home of the Brooklyn Base Ball Club, otherwise known as the Brooklyn Dodgers. It's the site where Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson and began the integration of Major League Baseball. That spot deserves a plaque or a marker, if one isn't already there.

      And I suppose that same Montague Street address could also be used for the headquarters of Vandelay Industries, the fictional outfit where George Costanza always said he was employed, until he finally went to work for the Yankees.

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    2. Grizz -- Of course I watched "Mad Men"! "Christ on a cracker"? Don't remember that though.

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    3. We watched all of Mad Men and I don't really recall that specifically, either, Sandy. Though I'm familiar with the phrase otherwise. I *do* remember that several of the characters used "Jesus!" as an exclamation often, which I took to indicate that Matthew Weiner uses that in real life. Anyway, here's a snippet from a Vulture interview with Vincent Kartheiser:

      Q: "So many amazing expressions come out of Pete’s mouth. 'Christ on a cracker' is my favorite. Do you have any favorites that you use in real life?"

      A: "I really like 'Hell’s bells, Trudy.' [Assuming Pete’s voice.] Hell’s bells, Trudy. I love 'Christ on a cracker.' Or 'a thing like that,' which I didn’t say this season, but there were three seasons in a row that I had a good 'a thing like that.' Yeah, or the line in the finale, 'Well, I’m the president of the Howdy Doody circus army.' I really liked that line."

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