The Walk-up Lament

York Restoration Corporation Photo

They fight the good fight. They stand as tall as they can against their younger brothers. And they’re darn pretty!

These are just a few snaps of the little brick buildings who’ve held their ground against New York City’s voracious appetite for more and more space. They’re a throwback to a different time, and it’s nice to see them here and there as York Restoration Corporation strolls through Manhattan.

One guesses that the majority of these little guys will be gone in another 60 years or so. The relentless progress of time, population, as well as the inevitable contraction of elbow room and space to breathe, seems to signal the impending demise of this type of building. Low to the ground, cheerful as it is simple, it’s probably an unfortunate accident of life that entropy and decay will suck under these happy little buildings.

Unless!

Historic tags! Preservation societies! These are the groups, the banded brothers of nostalgia and walking uphill (in the snow!) both ways to and from school, who can save our brick walk-ups! Perhaps you’ve not reached that age yet, but remember: you, too will age. You, too will succumb to physics and science and yes, even nostalgia.

Remember these cute buildings as they slowly crumble with the passage of time, just as our own joints – knees especially – deteriorate, until we’re both quiet and flat underneath freshly disturbed earth.

At least we’ll have a headstone; who will know that a brick walk-up once lived here?

York Restoration Corporation Image

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