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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Two Umbrella Day


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Meetings to plan the Columbia University Preservation Alumni work day coming up Saturday. Talking with folks from Landmarks West!, it’s hard to set aside hard feelings from the landmarks struggle. On the one hand, I’m touched by the appreciation by the smallest detail of historic design and its beauty. On the other, I want to know that the beauty of each human being on the steps, each person who worships here is recognized as equally beautiful and important. That’s our struggle, our call.



12/1


Can’t believe it’s December. An umbrella devouring body soaking day. (Lost two umbrellas in the wind) Steps covered with soaked newspapers, like someone seeking shelter from the storm.


We’re joined by a reporter from DNAinfo.com online news service. She follows us around, wanting to see the church, hear its stories. They had given us good coverage last summer. She’s interested in the upcoming clean up day.


It’s colder inside the church than it is outside. Francois has gone somewhere to stay dry. I go to Gary Greengrass to ask permission to use their restrooms on Saturday if need be. “Just aim,” he says.


An older guy has scattered food across the steps, is sprawled out with a 40. “Excuse me sir,” you can’t do that here,” I say. He looks up, “I’m leavin’” And he later does.


More negotiations with neighbors over funds to get the church ready to be reopened again. Given the history of many years, rebuilding trust is a mutual process. Step by step mutually verifiable actions needed. Last details for Saturday’s clean up day being checked out with Cristiana Pena, our Columbia PA rep. She is efficient and organized.


I’m shivering. Time to warm up. The rain continues.



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