We’re awash in clutter. Not on the sidewalks. Not in our parks. I’m talking about up in the sky.
Maybe you’ve noticed the countless new buildings dotting our fair island: soaring monuments of glass and steel with windows like so much cellophane allowing everyone to see everything.
I don’t care so much about the exhibitionists who are taking full advantage of such transparency; it’s the view of everyone’s stuff I have a problem with. The piles of unsightly bric-a-brac, the thousands of unmade beds, the mountains of clothing strewn every which way—it’s all there for us to see. Passersby of these modern obelisks, these fanciest of fancy new buildings are subjected to a front-row viewing of everyone’s clutter. These multimillion-dollar apartments are more akin to flop houses or unkempt college dorms than they are to high-end living. It is, simply put, an ocular assault of epic proportions.
Windows are much coveted here, and with good reason. After all, living atop one another in such close quarters means that a view outside—even if it’s just a tiny sliver of sky—is all we got. Back in the day, when downtown tenements thrived, people hung everything outside: laundry, food, more laundry. Ropes crisscrossed the streets in order to hang whatever could be hung out the window. We’ve essentially come full circle.
Didn’t developers or planning boards consider for even the briefest of moments what these buildings would look like from the sidewalk? Did no one ponder what all those see-through buildings would behold?
Apparently not, because now we’re stuck with an unsightly panty parade up above.