Here Goes [DOT 8/2/21]

Nothing? Something? Who knows

Hiii! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend. It took me a hot minute to catch up. I missed the Unpopular Opinions post and Brain Drain. For the record, pineapple goes on pizza, cilantro is trash and I love Cobra Kai.

Let’s see what else is going on…

The crucial differences in Trump’s second impeachment trial

On cusp of impeachment trial, court documents point to how Trump’s rhetoric fueled rioters who attacked Capitol


Senior Democrats to unveil $3,000-per-child benefit as Biden stimulus gains steam Under the proposal, the Internal Revenue Service would begin sending $250 per month to millions of families in July

Myanmar: tens of thousands march against military coup for second day


I didn’t watch and went to bed before the end, but I’m just going to assume Tampa won. Someone else can give me an update in the comments.

This sounds awful, not that I feel bad for them.

High anxiety: super-rich find supertall skyscraper an uncomfortable perch

This had me laughing for a long time. #sorrynotsorry



  1. I have so much to say.
    1. Though I loathe the Patriots as all good New Yorkers must I have had a crush on Gronk for years. He is living his best life. Goofy, a-political, seems like a solid person, extremely fun-loving, a native of upstate New York, hot, what’s not to love. Tom “MAGA” Brady on the other hand, with his carefully curated life and real estate portfolio and checkered professional history, not so much. Of course Gronk would come out of retirement (he’s all of 31) to party with his bro Tom and join the Bucs to get another Super Bowl win! The fact that it went to Tampa, a place I’ve never been and have no particular feelings about, and don’t follow sprots, makes me happy for Gronk.
    2. Re: the supertalls. As a Manhattanite I don’t mind a tall landscape; it’s a small island so where else are you going to stash everyone? In my first job here I got my own office with a view of the UN and the East River and Queens and Brooklyn beyond on the 31st floor of a well-built building from the late 1950s. Those were the days. I HAD ARRIVED! Then a hurricane hit, or maybe not a hurricane, but it was strong enough that we were warned to stay away from the windows and eventually told to just leave and get home as best we could. I well remember the creaking and the swaying but I knew enough (I come from a family of engineers) that this was a sign of responsible engineering, and a reaction to the building adjusting so it didn’t just collapse all around us. We eventually left that building and relocated to a building with a (heavily-subsidized) cafeteria on the penthouse level (again, those were the days) on what must have been the 48th or 49th floor. It was always open but some days, when it was windy outside, it made for an uncomfortable dining experience. 
    Then came 9/11. I had been to Windows on the World at the World Trade Center, just the bar, I’ve never eaten there, and even on calm evenings it was so high up that you sometimes felt like you were on a cruise ship in rough seas. Again, though, it was the building adapting, and pre-9/11 no one really took any notice of it.
    The thought of living extremely high up in one of these pencil towers and paying 8 figures for the privilege is madness and it’s pretty well-known that these apartments are money-laundering fronts whereby shady characters from across the globe park their ill-gotten gains, never to set foot in them. There’s a joke that the best jobs in New York is to be a door person at one of these, because there’s nothing to do, no one lives there, no one ever comes and goes, so at most you might let in a florist to spruce up the lobby once a week and that’s about it.
    I have more but that’s enough for a Monday.

    • The stupid thing about skyscrapers is that it is an escapable physical fact that the taller they get, the worse the elevator service gets. There is a limit to how fast they can reasonably go, so if you live on the 92nd floor and forgot to pick up a package, going down means waiting for an elevator to get up to your floor and then go down and then back up. If other people are going to the intermediate floors along the way, the wait gets interminable.
      Buildings can limit that waiting to an extent by putting in more elevators, but adding more elevators eats up valuable space, and tall buildings already give over a disproportionate share of their square footage to elevators.
      Those buildings really aren’t meant to be lived in.

      • Over a certain size (have you ever worked in a skyscraper?) they generally have dedicated elevators. So if you’re going to floors 2 to 25, let’s say, you go to one elevator bank, and if you’re going to 25 to let’s say, 50, there’s another bank for that, with 25 being a transfer floor, and so on. They’re remarkably efficient. The World Trade Center had these, they were called “sky lobbies.” There are heartbreaking stories about people on the higher floors descending to a sky lobby but then they weren’t low enough and they perished there on 9/11. Blocked staircases, the whole scenario must have have been an unimaginable nightmare.
        If this were a residential building you wouldn’t be going from your 92nd-floor aerie, for which you’ve paid millions, to pick up a package, one of the staff would bring it up.   Even in these Covid-ridden times I think they would leave it at your door and alert you it was waiting for you.

        • The problem with express elevators is that they still have to run the entire height of the building, which uses up valuable space.
          So suppose you have a single elevator serving all 50 floors of a building. That’s super slow because it has to stop everywhere. So maybe you decide to address that problem by having two elevators — one for floors 2-25 and the other for floors 26-50 — you’ve just doubled the space devoted to elevators, and in a skinny tower that’s a big percentage of your revenue. Add in a service elevator, because of course you don’t want the maintenance guy riding with you, and you’re up to three shafts.
          Demand is also a problem because in a high end building your tenants want you to build for peak demand — even if it only happens 5% of the time, stopping at eight floors before yours just won’t do, especially when you’re paying extra for a top floor and feel like it’s unfair that people below you paying less get a shorter trip. So the pressure is to put in a special penthouse-only elevator shaft, which further shrinks the square footage on every other floor below.
          Unlike subways, where you can cheat on the amount of track to an extent by building some short sections of side tracks where you shift the local to let the express go by, you can’t shunt elevators between shafts.
          And while you can backstop the forgotten eyeglasses in the lobby problem to an extent with doormen, in a fully occupied building on busy days that’s going to be a slow solution. Of course, it sounds like they’re having occupancy problems, but someday they may be full.

      • They’re certainly a blot on the skyline. If you’re in Central Park and look south you don’t think, “Ah, New York! So much wealth and promise!” You think, “My God that’s horrendous,” and turn your gaze east and west, where the buildings are tall (the San Remo on CPW is 27 stories, with two towers) but graceful and pleasant to behold.

    • NYC makes me so claustrophobic!  I could never live there.  Going up to the top of the Empire State & 30 Rock was interesting but I felt like, okay, don’t need to do that again.  Subways also make me claustrophobic and feel like a trapped rat. 

      • My whole, large extended family feels the way you do but sometimes they can’t resist coming to visit me. One year I scored bleacher tickets to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (through an acquaintance of course) and even the adults were impressed. “Oh no, we don’t just stand around here, it says we go over there” and over we went, where we went through the store and were greeted by Macy’s execs and took our seats. 
        Another time some of the children wanted to go to the Museum of Natural History. A huge mob, unbearable to most I’m sure, but I said, “Wait here.” I went to a special counter, presented my work ID (the company had a deal with the MNH) and we were whisked right in, for free. 
        Yet another time a sibling called me and said, “I know this is a horrible imposition but Daughter X is going to be intown doing Y, but they have an afternoon free. Do you think you could meet her and her girlfriends and take them to the Modern Art Museum?” “You mean MoMA and yes, of course.” By then I had left that job but I retained my work ID, which had no details on it (security reasons), just my scowling, sunburned face, so I presented it at a counter set up for this, got us all in for free, and I took them on a guided tour. This was before the (to my mind ill-conceived reno/”rethinking”) so we spent hours on the 4th and 5th floors, and I explained with great enthusiasm what made Rothko’s color field paintings so great, and how Andy Warhol kind of shocked the world, and what Rauschenburg was saying, all kinds of amateur insights.
        New York is what you make of it, and soon enough when New York loosens up a little more (sometime around 2024 or 2025, if Emperor Cuomo is re-elected) I’ll be diving in head-first. 

        • I really like NY. I liked training in to shop the garment district for work in the mid-1980’s and going in to concerts in the 20-teens. I miss having the option.

        • Mrs. Butcher and I were particularly disappointed when the Met stopped their practice of just accepting whatever you handed them in payment for a ticket and restricted that privilege for residents only.  No more 25 cent tours for us!

  2. Great conclusion to the skyscraper story:

    “The whole purpose here is to be the tallest,” Jacobs continued. “I don’t necessarily want to put a Freudian spin on that – but people have.”


  3. Democrats prove, once again, that they can’t get out of their own way.  “Leadership” doesn’t want outside witnesses called this time because they think calling their own congressional leaders as witnesses is good enough.  No it isn’t, you fucking idiots.  Good job at blowing yet another opportunity to get the message out clearly.


    • Fire is one thing, but rare In tall buildings. The deadliest fires (in NYC) are in low-rise firetraps, of which we do not lack. It’s when the mundane occurs that life on higher floors becomes untenable. Most of our public housing, for example, is built on the Robert Moses/Mies van der Rohe principle of siting tall buildings in “garden settings.” Good in theory, a disaster in practice. The public grounds quickly deteriorate into mayhem, especially after dark, and the elevators, either through neglect or vandalism, seldom work, and it can take months to get a Band-Aid repair job done that will only last for a limited time.
      We had a blackout years ago. Our friends who lived on high floors were totally screwed because no elevators, obviously, but also to get water up there the buildings relied on relay pump systems, so no water. I had friends who lived in a high-rise downtown when “Superstorm” Sandy hit. The building itself was fine but all the mechanicals were in the basement and flooded. It was months before the building was habitable again, but there were contributing factors, like the fact that this was 2012 in NYC and not, say, Singapore, where they’re a little more on top of these things. We’re still dealing with Sandy’s effects 9 years on, stuff minor and major.
      The highest floor I’ve ever lived on is the 5th, it’s where I live now, and I always keep these cautionary tales in mind. This is a new building and we had our pick of apartments to buy. The one we chose is kind of uniquely situated in that even though it’s only the fifth floor we have amazing views and lots of sunlight so it’s perfect for us. 

      • I lived on the 8th floor during the blackout of ’03 and was incredibly happy when the elevator came back to life. As wimpy as it sounds, going up and down 7 flights of stairs just to leave the apartment is brutal. On a walkup, thankfully, I’ve only lived as high as the 5th floor.

    • Honestly, I thought Biden had already tossed out that fucking halfwit. So mark me down in the “forgot about him” column. Y’know, if the DeJoy wasn’t an idiot, he’d have kept his head down and let his initial swath of destruction play out while Biden dealt with pandemics and Republicans. But no, he had to push it and draw attention to himself, so Uncle Joe’s gonna have to kick him to the curb now. 

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