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Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/horseycraze/Flickr
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/horseycraze/FlickrPhotograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/horseycraze/Flickr

#SaveNYC: Miranda Beverly-Whittemore's case for the Newswalk water tower

By Carla Sosenko

This week, in our #SaveNYC issue, Time Out New York pays homage to all the great places we've lost (RIP, Elaine's and Loehmann's) and tallies the other New York institutions it would break our heart to lose. Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is the author of the New York Times bestseller Bittersweet; Set Me Free, which won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize; and The Effects of Light. She lives and writes in Brooklyn. Here, her take on what indispensable, amazing New York City institution is worth saving.

The Newswalk Building’s Water Tower

"The first time I took in the urban skyline from my bedroom, I noticed the twin towers in the distance, the Williamsburgh Savings Bank in the middle ground, and, seemingly within reach, a silver water tower set against the wide Brooklyn sky. Wearing a conical hat, the cylindrical tower stands atop a large brick building that had recently been turned into condos. Fifteen years later, the water tower is the source of a daily story my son casts as we snuggle into waking—the rocket ship which has blasted off into a wild adventure while we slept.

I’ve still never even been on the roof the water tower stands on, but I think about it (because I see it) every day—wondering what the rounded silver panels hammered together would feel like under my hand (hot, I think, and smooth), or how I’d climb up to it (is there a ladder?), or what it holds (is it full of water? I still don’t know). In the intervening years, the skyline has changed, the Barclays Center has gone up, rents have doubled (and I’ve become a mom), but the water tower remains, reminding me every morning and evening of that particular city feeling of loving a place where I’ll never get to be."

Next up: yoga icon Elena Brower's case for ABC Carpet & Home.


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