V is for Vertical

| February 18, 2014

V is for Vertical

Manhattan, a 13 mile long island packed with thousands of buildings and 1.6 million people.

As I walk down Broadway, my head is turned upwards. Each block reveals new architecture, not only at eye-level, but stretching toward the sky. The beauty and form of each building is unique and reflects pieces of the men and women who built them.

Human existence is no longer bound close to the Earth. Buildings in New York stretch the distance between the earth’s floor and our living spaces. One step and we are in the elevator, 13 stories high. We do not pause to think about the distance between us and the dirt our founders traveled on. Thousands of metal beams and screws build up these structures that we enter into without question. We settle into our existences, not troubled by the sheer madness of living one hundred feet off the ground.

The Empire state building stands in a place of honor, once holding a vertical distinction. Now surpassed by numerous others looming over it. We compete with the world in creating structures, each one taller than the last. Sky rises climb higher and higher, and cast shadows on those who walk below them. No longer can we see the sun, it is hidden in verticality of the city.

Power runs upward, leadership means a rise to the top. “Onward and upward”, we move, advancement means rising up. Progress rises, failure slides back down.