Thursday, April 11, 2013
Getting back the sky
First they removed the scaffolding around my aunt's building last December. Well, as of today, the scaffolds around our building are coming down! What's it been? Four or five years? I am dreaming of sitting downstairs on the courtyard benches and reading a book and chatting with my neighbors as the new crop of kids play and forge friendships as my own kids did with neighbor children when they were younger. Our complex has been a construction site for so long there will have to be substantive grounds and garden repair, but how ecstatic am I that I will once again walk out my front door and feel the overarching sky. You don't miss that simple joy until it's buried under years of steel piping and green-painted wood and zinc awnings, not to mention the black netting strung along the sides of the long maze of outdoor corridors. The scaffolds were to protect pedestrians from falling masonry as workers repointed the bricks and resurfaced the roofing and replaced boilers and chimneys. The work got delayed by severe winters and board infighting and lawsuits and a mid-stream replacement of management, which promptly raised our maintenance by almost 60 percent to pay for the construction. It seemed an unending nightmare. The scaffolds were useful on a snowy or rainy day. One could walk to the supermarket and never have to set foot in the inclement weather, but mostly it has been claustrophobic. I thought this day of seeing the workers with their tools busily deconstructing the scaffolds would never come. O happy day.