Posted On May 16, 2012 at 11:25 am in Uncategorized
Its a dark and stormy evening, November 11, 2000. The Saw Mill River Parkway is an asp of a road that snakes to a narrow hollow before Readers Digest. A speeding motorist cuts sharp right, forcing a driver to lose control of his car. The 25-year young driver isnt wearing a seat belt. And as the motorist disappears into the shadows, the Pontiac flips and rolls like a dime. Its driver rockets away a side window, 40 from the air, into a forest.
Fast forward to August 22, 2006. Not a cloud in the sky. Im headed to New York – Just boarded an express to Grand Central – To a Charles Cortes, Inc. job site. 35 minutes later, Im about 42nd Street hailing a taxi. At 71st, I tip the cabbie two dollars, confirm my possessions, step out into sunlight, and dial my cell.
“Where are you?”
“Its the building with the big dumpster in front.”
A second later, Im there, circled by a sea of sweaty muscled guys toting sheet rock, hammers, electrical saws, wood scraps, PVC piping.
“Up here! Take the lift!”
Meet George L. Griffin III, young person in black cotton top, words “6 away of 5 people dont understand fractions” splayed across his chest. He wears clean slacks, a smile big as a pizza, and hes posed like Superman without a cape – Standing, face forward, hands about hips, warm wind ruffling his top – On top a city top, lookin like he simply landed from Planet Krypton, admiring the Manhattan skyline.
“Isnt it stunning?”
“Thats several top you got there, George.”
“Yeah, do you believe people really tell me they do not get it.”
“George, may I get the picture?”
Too late. The camera spectator displays a black confuse.
“How big is this building?”
“62 excellent. Its going to be in Architectural Digest. Were below contract. Started this job next week of February. Got a one year contract. Plan to be completed by Thanksgiving. I hope.”
“13 mil, as is. 14 mil, finished.”
“How several rooms?”
Were interrupted. George flips his phone, motions a finger to his mouth.
30 bags of sand. Is that enough?
How several pieces?
Box of 10?
He flips the phone closed. Opens a Blackberry. Two pointy fingers tap.
“Do youve a title?”
“Watch a step. I dont have a title. I have a job. I wanted anyone to see where I work. Im certainly doing something down here.”
“Everybody in New York has a title.”
“Okay. Sr. Executive Coordinator. Thats what it claims about my business card.”
“Whats this? Can I take a picture?”
“Drawings. See that? I do this. Step-by-step building construction. Plans. Change requests. electricians in cape town , plumbers. I inform them things to do. This really is the first design. Did you recognize there is a difference between a cellar along with a basement.”
I aim. Shoot. Another fuzzy black confuse.
“You got a picture of the floor. Dont you recognize ways to use that item?”
“What space is this?”
“Thats the servants space.”
“Its a extremely big space. How several servants might sleep in there?”
“Dont recognize. Dont care. But thats where theyll all sleep. Follow me. This really is the garden access. Where the servants might enter.”
“What about the upstairs access. Will anybody use that?”
“No. I think its for display.”
“How several rooms in this house?”
“Lets see. Theres the master suite apartment. Thats one entire floor. Theres the life region, the multi-media space, the library, the additional bedroom, the alternative extra bedroom, the alternative alternative extra extra bedroom. Theres a lot of restrooms. One about every floor. Theres 6 flooring.”
“Stop! Whats the square footage?”
“Thats a good query. Id mention over 6600. Does that sound right? But its upwards and down. This really is the metropolis.”
“Where are you going now?”
“The alternative job. Thats about Park Avenue. And dont search upwards whenever we walk down the road. I dislike it whenever people do this. Its a certain sign youre from away of town. I hate that. Where is crawling with travelers.”
“Youre a extremely busy guy. Do you love what you do?”
“I love what I do. Im upwards at 5 the.m. each day, often earlier to receive down here by 7. Its a lengthy day. And a lengthy week. Some nights I do not get home till after 9. Next its straight to bed. And the following day, my schedule starts again.”
“What more do you do for Charles Cortes, Inc.?”
“I built their site. I handle that things, too. Everybody requires me for help for technological things. I may do html. Big mistake. Occasionally I wish I didnt recognize about computers.”
“Can I have the link? Id like to put it inside my post.”
“Sorry. The url is shut to the public. Its a personal online data base. User name and password is required to visit the site. I support the password.”
“Do you do banners?”
“Oh, Ma, Im thus busy. Please. Dont ask.”
“George, do you remember where you were 5 years ago at this time?”
Long inactivity – as I wait for him to remember that dark and stormy evening.
“I do not have idea. I dont certainly remember.”
“Any idea where you want to be 5 years from now.”
“Five years from now Id love to work about reconstructing one of my own buildings. Id sell it prior to it being complete. Walk away clean. Ill float the banks money. Id like to be life down here with Colleen, have a couple children.”
“What about 9/11, George. Didnt it hurt building?”
“9/11 had a minute impact on building. Maybe for one year after. Now nobody cares. This really is New York City. You cant eliminate it. No matter what you do, it might always grow. It might always be here. Its New York City! Its the Metropolis! Actually, at the least I think thus. I could be wrong. I dont know. What do you think?”
On the walk returning to Grand Central, I do the traveler item – I search upwards. Yes. I agree. New York is a great City. So is George L. Griffin III.