5 Flights Up

View From Dan and Britt’s New Apartment

Earlier this week, I had republished a photo of one of the stainless-steel eagles that adorn the Chrysler Building. Coincidently, Dan texted us the above photo that shows the view from his and Britt’s new East Williamsburg apartment. It sits atop a five-floor walkup, the penthouse sort-of-speak, in a building without any taller neighbors nearby. In the picture you can see the Chrysler Building sticking up in the distance. In 1930, at over a thousand feet, it was the tallest building in the world, but by 1931 that title transferred to the Empire State Building. The much taller building in the photograph is One Vanderbilt (1400’), which only opened last fall. I bet its owners are scrambling to fill the place. Dan and Britt are going to take the month of April to move into their new place and hire movers to haul the heavy stuff up those five flights of stairs.

In their new accommodations I am reminded of a movie that I once watched called 5 Flights Up, now on Netflix. Starring Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman as an elderly Brooklyn couple, who are some 40 years into a loving and happy marriage. The movie’s premise it that they have decided that they are getting too old to climb those stairs. This decision plunges this couple into the dog-eat-dog world of NYC real estate, with its cast of annoying characters. In the end they decide they’re not too old yet and do not sell their apartment after all, which pisses everyone else off, but at least they’re happy.

Staggering Into the New Year


As we barrel pell-mell towards the end of this year, it is wise to take stock of the year that has passed. In a tumultuous year such as this one has been, it is all too easy to succumb to the negative. We’ve made it this far though, far enough to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s just pray that the light that we see is not the headlight of an oncoming train. This year feels like we’ve been through a war, where in reality we’ve spent most of our time sitting on the couch, a comfy couch at that. In cycling circles the couch is frequently equated with death and we have certainly seen plenty of that this year. Sitting on the couch is such a sedentary act and that it is anathema to an active lifestyle, but this year it has come to symbolize our patriotic duty. No mass storming of beaches, please. Sit on the couch and wear a mask, looking out for your fellows and yourself. 

Oh hell, I can’t help myself—as bad as it has been with the loser-in-chief going on and on and on about how unfair life has been to him this year, Missouri’s junior senator has elected to play Padawan acolyte to this dark Sith lord. Today, Josh Hawley, boy senator, announced that he will create a spectacle of himself next week, when Congress meets to declare Joe Biden our new president. What Hawley neglected to announce, but loomed quite clearly, was his intention to run for president in 2024. Opportunistic aptly describes Hawley. He has slithered from job-to-job throughout his political career. I first became aware of him when he ran for Missouri Attorney General, promising to serve his entire term, but halfway through that term he went and got himself elected senator. Oh my, however did that happen? Now, it looks like he’ll spend the better part of his first term as senator, running for president. Except for the annoyance of having to listen to all of his showboating, I guess that this constant ladder-climbing, leaves him little time to do much damage in his current assignment. When we started this year Trump seemed to be in an unassailable position, but through his own incompetence, he managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Now, for a legacy, he has spawned a host of wannabe trumplets. When will it end?