This increasingly tall building on the lower end of Manhattan is the future home of Condé Nast Publications, the New Yorker included, and various other tenants. The classical-music critics are expected to occupy the top ten floors.
I just finished reading Amy Waldman's debut novel, The Submission, which is being published next week by FSG. It tells of an American Muslim architect who wins an anonymous competition to design a World Trade Center memorial, and of the deadly political uproar that ensues. The genuine pain of those directly affected by the attack is woven together with the self-importance, ignorance, and inchoate fear of those who sought to exploit it. In the end, though, you are left with a mesmerizing picture of the mystery of an artist — detached, cryptic, on some level oblivious to the hue and cry, cursed or blessed with that myopic obsessiveness from which great work so often arises. Looking at the construction site yesterday, I saw, in my mind's eye, the garden of Mohammad Khan.