January in New York City, and the sun showed up and washed gold over everything. I’m standing in my apartment, palms at the edges of my window, peering not out but straight down. A hundred feet below, men are at work pulling down the scaffolding.
Steel beams punctuating the sidewalk, green panels linked and reinforced with wooden planks, scaffolds across the city signal humankind’s ongoing effort to hold its own in the fight against nature. For sidewalk travelers, however, scaffolding is a strange nuisance, narrowing the sidewalk and shrinking an often-claustrophobic city. When, at last, a project is completed and scaffolding disappears, city blocks are washed brand new. The time has come, finally, for the scaffolding in front of my building to come down.