Staff Writer Linus Glenhaber unravels a mystery of Morningside Heights.
I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Hudson does flow.
And mark in every art I meet
Marks of statue, marks of woe.
Not far from Columbia’s campus is one of the strangest sculptures I’ve ever seen. It towers over the park it is in, looking out to the street in front. I’ve walked by it multiple times a day since school began and I still don’t understand it. Perhaps I will tonight.
It is poorly lit. The trees behind it have better lighting than the face of the devil in the crab claws, better lighting than the hands that hold fire at the base, better lighting than the giraffe that stands on top of it all.
Why is there a giraffe on the top. It’s already a statue that’s towering above me with this crab hovering somehow in the sky and now there’s a giraffe on top of it. This doesn’t feel right. I don’t believe that any human soul could have designed this.
The West 111th Street People’s Garden is closed to the public at all times. A single lock fortifies a barrier between mankind and the statue. When it opens, I am sure that the statue will escape and usher in the end times. The cathedral is named for St. John of Revelation after all.
I can only commune with the statue through the openings in the fence. Perhaps this is fortunate. One cannot look directly at the face of god. One cannot get too close to the statue.
A rat just ran by. It is less confused by the statue than any other passers by. It doesn’t worry about the seventh seal breaking and the chain link fence swinging open. It’s already been so close to the statue that it doesn’t fear anything anymore. It just has to scurry back and forth back and forth back and forth.
Behind the statue is a beautiful crescent moon. The whole moon on the top of the statute mocks it, grinning. The celestial moon can only be full once a month, this statute mocks it with an eternally full one. Soon it will be morning and the moon will set. The statue will remain.
[Update: 1:27 am] I finally got home and looked up the name of the statue. It’s “Peace Fountain”
Peace Fountain via Linus