The rooftops of New York

rooftops NYC.aspxrooftops-NYC

Living with someone who didn’t grow up here has allowed me to see New York differently. Sometimes, I feel as if I am seeing it for the first time. « Why are the eggs here white? » (French supermarkets normally offer brown eggs.) “How many feet are there in a meter?» I am supposed to have an explanation for every cultural query, but I don’t always have the answers.

Several years ago, a French friend in New York asked me, « What are those things on the roof? » We were standing by the window and admiring the view. I looked out at the SoHo rooftops, but didn’t see anything in particular.  What was my friend talking about? « Right there, on the rooftop, » she insisted. Ok, I saw the roof, but it looked normal to me. There wasn’t anything there. As I was about to tell my friend that it was just a roof , I suddenly understood. She meant the water towers which are situated on many apartment building rooftops  (see photo).  I had seen them so many times that I didn’t even notice them anymore. The conversation only lasted a few minutes, but I think about it often. It served as a reminder that I could look at something without really seeing it.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>