Tag Archives: coal miners

A Tale of Two Towers: 8 Spruce Street and One World Trade Center

11 Oct

Spruce Street and One World Trade Center I took part in last Wednesday’s Community/Labor March To Wall St. in New York City. I met some musician buddies at Washington Square Park and we marched to Foley Square with the New York University group, though none of us are affiliated with NYU. From Foley Square, a bit Northeast of City Hall. There we joined up with the main crowd, and a passel of musicians, and headed on to Liberty Plaza, flanked and guided by police all the way.

Not long after we left Washington Square Park, say a five or six blocks out, I noticed this building ahead, and I kept tracking it all the way down:

NYC - Civic Center: 8 Spruce Street

Photo of 8 Spruce Street by Wally Gobetz

That’s a new luxury apartment building at 8 Spruce Street, just south of City Hall. It was designed by starchitect Frank Gehry.

Does anyone who lives there care about us marchers? I thought. It’s a pricy building, with studio apartments starting at $3770 a month, which is over $42,000 per year, and two bedrooms at $6045 per month, almost $61,000 per year. I’m thinking that, no, the folks who live there are more likely in the 1% who’re living high off of banker’s bonuses than in the 99% who can’t afford health insurance and who won’t have pensions when they retire.

More likely than not, they think things are pretty much OK as they are. Maybe the bonuses are a little slim, but the rabble down here marching to Liberty Plaza, we don’t figure in their view of the world. They have no empathy with us.

But then how could they?

My father was an engineer. He worked in an office. But his work took him into coal mines to collect samples and to inspect the coal face. He knew that mining was dirty and dangerous work and believed that no one should have authority over coal miners unless they’d worked in the mines themselves. Continue reading