Death Averted By An Angel: Next to Conclusion

Gazing out of a bus window
Gazing out the back window of a noisy, smelly, exhaust-spewing bus up Sixth Avenue, I couldn’t help but marvel at the myriad of asphalt-covered lanes of moving traffic, filled with other buses, speeding autos, blaring horns, and zigzagging taxis; hearing vicious epithets spewed by angry motorists and pedestrians alike, words and expressions I never heard before. Multitudes of good-looking and finely dressed people (compared to 42nd Street) marched along the massive sidewalks like tin soldiers through this concrete jungle, together like migrating herds of cattle, speedily heading in both directions, in and out of stores, shops, offices, apartments, and eateries containing every kind of cuisine.

Scores of buildings along the way, one after the other, consisting of all shapes, sizes, and building materials, comprised the ensuing conglomerate of high-rise structures that lined both sides of the vast avenue, appearing like upright dominoes, progressively increasing in monumental height as we proceeded toward Rockefeller Center. The largest towers were tremendous skyscrapers, situated right beyond our bus stop: across the street from Radio City Music Hall. The Time-Life Building, 48 stories tall and mostly brand-new—having been completed in 1959—sat diagonally across the street from where we stood at the southeast corner of W. 50th Street. The landmark overtook the skyline predominately on the northwest side, but the domineering, monstrously tall, 70-floor RCA Building, which housed our destination and was set outstandingly facing us, took prominence to all the others. Both aforementioned monolithic erections appeared as Towers of Babel in the middle of a cement desert, combined with other lofty, seemingly mile-high structures, seen scattered and hovering well above the magnificent, sprawling complex as well.

My intense love for Art Deco grew steadily from my first, overwhelming impressions of the stunning architectural designs of the buildings within and surrounding this enormous center, built in the ’30s by the honorable J. D. Rockefeller, Jr., whilst the country was in throes of the Great Depression. Forty thousand people were put to work for this unprecedented architectural enterprise during those incredibly dire and economically trying times. The colossal endeavor was the largest private building project ever undertaken in modern times, relatively comparable to Edward II’s remodeling of Windsor Castle in 14th-century England, which then was the largest secular building accomplishment of the Middle Ages. The business mogul spared no expense for his undertaking, hiring only the best architects of the period, coupled with master artisans to craft the artistic aesthetics of the building facades and interiors, which mostly adhered to the extremely popular Art Deco movement of the time. The creation of Rockefeller Center is a whole, unique story within itself.

RCA Building, NYC

The Towering, Architecturally Art-Deco-Designed, 70-Story RCA Building in the 1950s

Radio City Music Hall

Postcard from the 1950s of Radio City Music Hall’s Exterior

The RCA Building, incorporating Radio City Music Hall—named after the skyscraper’s main tenant, Radio Corporation of America—is also the home to NBC corporate offices and studios since 1933. Saturday Night Live is taped there, as well as Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; and the original Tonight Show was broadcast from that location, soon to be returning next year when Fallon takes over. The phenomenal observation deck at the top of “30 Rock,” as it is nicknamed, is second only to the Empire State Building’s 86th-floor attraction for the best 360-degree panorama of New York City from the clouds. I wanted to go up to the pinnacle (getting back to the story), remembering my excitement during our previous excursion to the top of the Big Apple, but the next showing of our intended program inside the music hall was scheduled to begin in forty-five minutes; and my mother said we’d have to make that ascent some other time.

Panorama of NYC

View from atop the RCA Building

# # #

To be continued…

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About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at Lulu.com.
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6 Responses to Death Averted By An Angel: Next to Conclusion

  1. Anonymous says:

    I can almost hear that noise from the traffic & think I’m in a place where the country mouse has been taken to the City! Ahh. Is the cat coming to get me ?

    Shirley Ann

    • Not to worry, I know you can outfox that cat! Thanks, Shirley Ann for commenting. NYC will never be the same 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

        The Country mouse

        It’s more honourable for a country mouse to be killed by a hawk and relive in the food chain than for an overfed city cat to just play with it toss it in the air and leave it broken hearted just for fun.

        Yes the country mouse may be small but he’s gonna have to street wise.
        Shirley Ann

      • Re: The Country mouse

        Nice analogy. Thanks

  2. Anonymous says:

    So?

    When are you going to finish this?

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