The story of 1000 Manhattan Avenue by Sabine Heinlein.

At first glance, the structure looked futile, but on closer inspection the beams are preventing the building’s swelling bricks from crashing down onto the pavement. The rain gutter bends along the facade’s perilous curve. To get into the G&R Deli on the ground floor, one is forced to duck under the joists or to circle around the structure to enter the store. The whole thing resembles a Mark Di Suvero sculpture carelessly hammered together by a bunch of mentally disabled teenagers. It looks like a dangerous joke.

Nevertheless, my husband was optimistic. When I pointed out that a group of bums had chosen the space underneath the scaffolding as their hangout, he said, “No, those are construction workers. They are fixing the building.” When I countered that even for construction workers they seemed awfully drunk and in poor shape, he got defensive. “Maybe they are the architects.” I had to point out that one of the “architects” had ankles swollen to the size of logs.

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