John Cullum reads the opening chapter of Emily Frankel's "Karen of Troy," a tale of perseverance and strength -- a shattered, fifty-ish ex wife/mom, coping with divorce, 4 daughters and ailing mother, attends law school -- while finding a new self, amuses and inspires us with her thoughts on fitting into today's world.
Scan the New York City skyline and there's a new high -- 432 Park Avenue -- a pencil-thin, tall, concrete structure rising above Central Park.
My neck hurts when I walk by it and look up, up, up.
It's a residence, the tallest one in New York City, and the city's second-tallest building -- 1446 feet tall and 95 floors, while the 1,774 foot One World Trade Center has 104 floors.
Here's how the city looks from the 95th floor, the million dollar penthouse's master bathroom.
In 1930, the first-ever super-tall, 1,046 foot Chrysler Building, was completed with its 77 floors. For 60 years thereafter, the U.S. was the only country to have buildings that were more than 984 feet tall. The Empire State Building, built during the depression, reigned as the tallest building in the world with its 1,250 feet and 102 floors for 41 years until the World Trade Center (1,368 feet, 110 floors) was completed in 1972. Two years later it was surpassed by Chicago's 1,450 foot-110 floor-Sears Tower that was the world's tallest building for 24 years.
The development of the elevator, the evolving use of steel beams, columns, and glass enabled architects to build taller structures. In 1998, the Petronas Tower (1,483 feet, 88 floors) opened in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In 2004, the 1,670 foot Taipei was completed in Taiwan. In 2011 the Burj Dubai became the world's tallest building at 2,716 feet, 160 floors, and it contains the world's fastest elevators.
What is it this up up up trend?
Tall, tallest, taller is very tall.
Too many floors make it a mall.
Looking down at the street is a feat--
You fearfully feel you might fall.
Architecture, nowadays, has gone far beyond tall. Wildly-weird buildings are being built for many, many millions of dollars. Eeny-meeny-mini-moe, which one would you like to go and visit.
What about The Cobra tower?
When I showed this photo to my husband, he asked "Were is it?" I was surprised to learn that some people say it's in Kuwait, others mention another city -- apparently it hasn't yet been built. The photo sent me scurrying around the web and finding other marvelous buildings and this video.
Wow -- it's pictures of 35 most amazing (and some of the weirdest) buildings in the world. Browse -- brace yourself for gasps, chuckles, utter amazement and click the link.
NEW! ... Emily Frankel and John Cullum offer lively, provocative video commentary on YouTube once a week. Click image above to go.
HOW I GOT HERE
I'm a writer, writing things that haven't brought me fame, but continue to involve me, inspire me to find an audience.
I started out as a modern dancer, contemporary, but balletic. I didn't want to be a swan, or a barefoot dancer. I wanted to dance to the music that thrilled me as a child, and made me want to be a dancer.
I began writing in the truck my first husband, Mark Ryder and I bought, in order to carry our set, props, and costumes for a long one-night-stands tour -- eighty-eighty performances in eighty-eight cities.
We were performing "Romeo and Juliet" nightly, but our marriage was breaking up. Every day while our stage manager drove us two-hundred miles or so to the next booking, I'd type a detailed description of last night -- what we did well, what we argued about, and a travelogue about the town, and comments from the people at the nightly party.
Recovering from the trip and the divorce, I sent my "car book" to a friend who said -- "Em, it's great, but ..." And that became rewrites, and another book. Then, my marriage to actor John Cullum, and then a play that got produced, and another book, big hopes because a famous agent loved it. The title and concept changed five times -- now it's been published, finally, as "Somebody, Woman of the Century." You can buy it, or read about it and my other five novels on Emily Frankel.com