Memorial Day. Supposed to be a day off. But I’m in the office, meeting Pat O and Jerry the contractor who’s in to examine the building once more in order to create his quote for the work we need done. He’s in his old friend RL’s studio, visiting, when we get there.
We tour the building top to bottom. Literally. Trying to discern all the work we need to do to get out from under the critical and baleful eye of Department of Buildings scrutiny. Inside, outside,all around the church.
Jerry’s an obvious veteran at this. He tells me some of the churches he’s worked at, including my friend Elise’s Advent up the street and over several years ago. And including stained glass, Tiffany and otherwise. Everytime I do this, I wonder, why? No old building romantic on this tour.
The tour ends. Jerry knows what he needs to know. I’ll claim my half a day off. Head to Citifield to meet my friend Mark K and a doctoral class from Columbia in Georgia. To see the Pirates vs. the Mets. Mark, like me, grew up a Pittsburgh boy. As he’ll tell the class tomorrow, we bleed black and gold.
Get to the church after going to the UN Church offices to speak to Mark’s visiting doctoral class. With me was Marc G, the director of the Interfaith Assembly on Housing and Homelessness. We were there to talk about interfaith cooperation and collaborative action on social issues. (see #CTSatUN).
Arrived to learn that RL had spent 45 minutes with his cane chasing an errant pigeon trying to convince it to leave. That sight alone is enough to ponder, but it gets worse. By the time Danielle had arrived, the pigeon had now gotten itself stuck on an anti-mouse glue trap so was no longer the speedy roadrunner character that eluded RL but now more like a battle weary veteran. This now would lead to an impromptu confab between Steve S the porter and David S the handyman which has its own interesting twists and turns as they discussed strategy. The very thought of having to outsmart pigeons is depressing.
Most annoying is that it all goes back to the architect with a paper hasmat over his business suit who came in to inspect the tower, albeit with comforting results, who was nevertheless unable to close the hatch in the pigeon tower resulting in a breach in our defense and a reopening of the territorial battle with the pigeons we believed we had won. This leaves me with a sinking feeling in my stomach I was unprepared for. I want to fight these battles once.
Pat O’s job today is to create a grid on which we can compare all the various bids we’re getting, apples to apples style. Danielle's job will be to lead the final tours of bidders and fill in the grid. All before writing the grant application for money from the Landmarks Conservancy. Deadline Friday. Not a moment to waste.
Danielle's parents are visiting from Iowa. just a bit early. No problem, they'll go out for coffee while we discuss pigeons. And grant applications.
Off to Newark to teach my final class of the term at the Newark School of Theology. Another milestone in the year that’s moving all too fast. (http://www.newarkschooloftheology.org/)