At 8:30 a.m. on a recent Saturday in Harlem, a man stood near the Antioch Church of God in Christ’s painted red steps, shouting a new number every few minutes. “Fifty-one!”
A crowd outside the church talked among themselves quietly, filling the air with clouds of breath in the cool temperatures, continually listening with one ear for their number to be called. “Fifty-two!”
“The earlier you come, the better stuff you get,” Eugenio Prado explained. “You come later, you get leftovers. But you always get something.”
Laurence Tamaccio lives near the West Side Highway, the part that exposes its aged, rusty underbelly and concrete legs, held high above Riverside Park South. In his view, it’s an eyesore – and he wants to cover it with vines and waterfalls.
“Seeing it on a daily basis, it started to sort of wear me down aesthetically,” he said.
Tamaccio, an architect who describes his job as “making things that look awful look better,” posted slides of his High Line-esque vision on YouTube. Trellises and ivy cover the highway’s pillars from 61st Street to 72nd street in the digital image of Tamaccio’s dream.