Take A Walk on the Wild Side: Making Cosmopolis Come Alive at Park Ave. & 47thBuckyW Original Series: "Take a Walk on the Wild Side: 47th St. NYC Photo Diary and Novel Tour
What’s happening in the story:
Eric’s limo makes it away across Park Avenue, where Chin exits it and Eric spies Jane Melman. The limo stops at the corner and she enters. Melman is annoyed as it’s supposed to be her day off and she’s gone for a run. She’s been alerted to the situation with Eric’s trading, he tells her the yen can’t go higher, but she’s checked and it has. Eric observes the city scene, and there’s a wonderful passage in the book that showcases DeLillo’s unique prose. New York is often a character itself in his novels. Jane and Eric have a weird interaction [ahem], at the next intersection.
Leading into Park Ave., after Eric thrusts his head out of the roof to take in the city scene and the looming bank towers, the limo crosses Park Avenue. This would be his view to the left (south).
Quotes from the novel about the scene at this intersection:
“…the granite tower being raised on the south side of the street, named for a huge investment firm.”
An aside here about J.P. Morgan: on my walk, this doorman asked me what I wanted a picture of, and I said I just want to show the name of the company, the doorway. He said that was fine, “but no pictures above the second floor.” No argument from me!
“He looked at her, pink and dripping. The car moved faintly forward now and he felt the stir of a melancholy that seemed to cross deep vales of space to reach him here in the midtown grid. He looked out the window, seeing them in odd composite, people on the street, and they waved at taxis and crossed against the light, all one and together, and stood in line at cash machines in the Chase Bank.”
“She told him he looked mopish.
Buses rumbled up the avenue in pairs, hacking and panting, buses abreast or single file, sending people to the sidewalk in sprints, live prey, nothing new, and that’s where construction workers were eating lunch, seated against the bank walls, legs outstretched, rusty boots, appraising all eyes, all trained on the streaming people, the march-past, checking looks and pace and style, women in brisk skirts, half running, sandaled women wearing headsets, women in floppy shorts, tourists, others high and slick with fingernails from vampire movies, long, fanged and frescoed, and the workers were alert for freakishness of any kind, people whose hair or clothing or manner of stride mock what the workers do, forty stories up, or schmucks with cell phones, who rankled them in general.”
|…appraising all eyes…|
“These were scenes that normally roused him, the great rapacious flow, where the physical will of the city, the ego fevers, the assertions of industry, commerce and crowds shape every anecdotal moment.”
Madison Avenue for Eric’s interesting physical exam, and conversation with Jane that evolves into nothing to do with the yen…..
Making Cosmopolis Come Alive at: Lexington & 47th St.
Setting Focus: A Room With a View (Eric’s apartment tower)
Making Cosmopolis Come Alive at: 3rd Ave. & 47th St.
Story Focus: Eric Packer & his Advisers Track the Yen
Making Cosmopolis Come Alive at: 2nd Ave. & 47th St.
Making Cosmopolis Come Alive at: 1st Ave. & 47th St.