[the palaverist]

Friday, December 29, 2006

[the neighbors]

Across the street from the South Korean Mission to the United Nations is a construction site where the new United States Mission to the United Nations is going up to replace the old United States Mission to the United Nations (picture of the entrance showing the seriously dated old architecture).

The new structure is designed by Gwathmey Siegel and Associates Architects, the same folks who brought us the architecturally muddled but kind of cool Astor Place Sculpture for Living, that grand symbol of the death of bohemian East Village. (Sorry, kids: the ongoing eastward migration of hipness has crossed the river, passed through Billyburg and settled on Bushwick — for the moment. If trends continue, hipsters will be living in Middle Village, Queens, by about 2050.)

Emporis has details, the most intresting being that the new structure will be 22 stories, with no windows on the first six floors to make it harder to blow the place up. Friendly. They've also got construction pics, including a nice shot showing the temporarily exposed flank of the Ugandan Mission and the Korean Mission across the street, behind the crane. From this photo, you can probably work out that we can peer down into the construction site from our windows.

Of course, there are other ways to get a look. Cryptome, a rather cryptic and moderately creepy website, has an Austrian-domain-hosted page full of pictures of North Korean diplomats and their Mission, towards the bottom of which are a couple of shots of the US Mission construction site, one of which is labeled "The New US Mission to the UN Under Construction at East 45th Street and 1st Avenue, Photographed Through a Vacant, Unlocked Guard Hut." Nice.

Oh, and on a local note, the cement for the project is being provided by the Gowanus Canal's own Quadrozzi, in whose trucks I am tempted to try hitching a ride to work.

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