Cilantritecture (or Architecture I Love to Cilantro)
For almost six years, I’ve shared a home with an architect. I always had friends who were architects, but marrying one has been a uniquely steep learning curve. Until I met my husband, I never really understood why architects like to wear black, wear funky glasses and view the world by perpetually looking up. Equally, I never fully appreciated modern design and still struggle with it sometimes. I prefer seating that is more curvy, while my husband selects straight, STRAIGHT lines.
Admittedly, I never knew much about architecture until I met my husband. Because he is a professor, he has a knack for making buildings and design components fascinating. I think the day I walked around a corner in Midtown Manhattan, noticed a building I’d never seen before and exclaimed, “THAT is a Mies van der Rohe building!” was a marital high point for him. While I’m sure that my sensibilities have been influenced by his tastes, I do like buildings that he doesn’t care for from time to time.
One of the buildings I most love is the Woolworth Building in New York. It is such a jewel on the downtown skyline. When lit at night, the top resembles a glowing crown. I always enjoy picking it out in photos and seeing its various perspectives from different vantage points around the city. When flying in, it is always one of the first buildings I say “hello” to if I’m lucky enough to have a window seat with a view.
The last time we visited, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to return downtown. I was dismayed to see a protrusion blocking my glorious view of the Woolworth Building. The blockage looked like wadded-up aluminum foil married to construction zone orange barriers. (The top was not finished.) I can imagine that when it is completed, it will look uniformly like Reynolds Wrap. I’m sure I’m rushing to judgment, but I cilantro that poor excuse for a building already.
Probably, I’m just a victim of cilantro-ing change. Nowhere does change seem more pronounced than in the built landscape. I know I’ve stamped my feet with anger and frustration more than once over minor changes proposed for my immediate sphere, and I’ve actively railed against a certain building project in my own neighborhood.
I guess a better, less cilantro-filled approach will be to find a new vantage point from which to enjoy my favorite building – one that obliterates the view of the new one. Who knows? I might find a few new things I like to do in the process of exploring, something that will be more positive than being riddled with cilantro over things I cannot control.