Eyre Affairs

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Location: New York, United States

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

"There was now visible a house or houses - for the building spread far..." ~ Jane Eyre

A Thursday's Tuesday's Twelve: My Top Twelve All-Time Favorite Building Structures

1) The home of my childhood - I grew up in aTudor home, which was quite cozy and Stratford-Upon-Avon-esque. I am thankful that my parents were able to give this home to me and my sisters. I loved its nooks and crannies, and I especially loved the old fashioned radiators. When we played outside in the winter as young girls, my mother would sit us on the radiator (covered, of course) to warm up when we came in and dole out the hot chocolate to us as we sat there getting our butts warm!

2) The Chrystler Building - This is my favorite view within the NYC skyline. There are so many amazing structures that make the skyline special, but I think this building is the most special because it is so beautifully detailed.

3) My Catskill House - My grandparents used to have a house in the Catskills and many of my favorite childhood memories were there. My grandfather had an actual well located on the path to the house from the road that my sisters and I referred to as "the wishing well."

4) Rita's Sag Harbor House - J. Sarah's grandmother's home in the Hamptons will always be one of my most favorite of places and I shall always remember my late summer jaunts with J. Sarah there with joy. My favorite part of the house is the dining area that overlooks the cove, as it is probably everyone's favorite part of the house who has ever stayed there.

5) The E.W. Library - I worked in the E.W. Library for six years; the building itself is a historic landmark. It was tiny and the floors creaked and it smelled old and the shelves were sagging, but I love that building because it holds a great deal of magic.

6) My high school - There is never a time I walk back into that building where I don't feel joy and a sense of completeness. My time in that building led me to my career today as an English teacher. Whenever I go back in that building, it always feels like home, especially the theatre and English Department!

7) The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Aside from all it contains, the actual structure of this building is a work of art in itself.

8) My sister and brother-in-law's home - The love I have for that house is just about 16 months old, since that is the amount of time Jack has been living in that house. I walk through that door and experience such delight when he greets me with his big eyes and wide grin.

9) The House that Ruth Built - Yankee Stadium is my favorite place to be on a summer afternoon or evening. The structure is historic and I love it for all of its imperfections. Sadly, Steinnie does not. I am sad that there is going to be a new Yankee Stadium.

10) Michie Stadium - The view from the stands is stunning. The Hudson River is one of the most beautiful bodies of water that there is. My experiences there for football games and such are, by far, some of my favorite memories of Saturday afternoons in the Fall.

11) Westminster Abbey - My sister Robin can attest to the fact that I probably sucked my breath in at each corner of the abbey. From Poet's Corner to Elizabeth I's tomb, I was in awe with each step I took in that church.

12) Commander's Palace - Yes, a restaurant had to make this list! Not just any restaurant, though. I loved each moment of brunch I had there with J.Sarah back in 2004, and I hope to return there very soon since it has since re-opened.

*It would interest me a great deal to hear about your favorite building structure when you leave a comment*


Blogger Bird said...

oh, i love this post. i want to list all my favorites and also the buildings i despise - but i won't list them all:

a few favs: the ballpark the giants play in (keeps changing its name - so who knows) - beautiful views of the bay - not a bad seat in the park - you so know you're in SF when you're at that park.

the empire state building for the art deco

the forbidden city in beijing

buildings i despise:
the new de young museum in sf - absolutely ugly and sticks out like a sore thumb

the student union on the university campus where i work. it's an ugly monstrosity after the student riots in the 60s- it's designed so students cannot take control of it and shut others out.

1:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a fantastic post. I am big on architecture...and of the buildings in the world I've seen I think my top ten would go...

1) Tower Bridge. This is that huge bridge in London that everyone thinks is London Bridge (but London Bridge is very bland, made of concrete and a bit boring...)

2) Scary Priory at Roche Rock. A tiny little stone chapel/priory perched on the top of a huge basalt rock in Cornwall. It sorta briefly appeared in one of the Omen films I think (the very first one) and it's ultimately spooky!

3) Doge Palace, Venice. Massive ornate outside, opulent inside. Delicious. Looks like you could just scoop it up with a spoon and eat it.

4) Brighton Pavilion. Mad mad MAD looking building that looks like a cross between something that belongs in deepest darkest India, and a madman's worst architectural nightmare. Fantastic though.

5) West Pier, Brighton. Almost gone now but reminiscent of all those spooky piers in Scooby Doo cartoons.

6) Auckland Skytower. Almost conquered my fear of heights here, with those glass panelled floors and lifts.

7) Surprise Point, Banff. Beautiful mad german looking hotel that just happens to be in the middle of beautiful Canadian countryside.

8) The Empire State Building, New York. Well it just kicks ass doesn't it. Royally.

9) Avebury Ring. Does this count? Not technically a building, just a huge stone circle with a village in the middle of it. I spent a lot of my childhood here and it's just too cool for words.

10) Eiffel Tower, Paris. No building terrifies me more than this, it just doesn't feel safe but you have to go up it and climb it and terrify yourself because it's worth it for the stunning views.


4:04 AM  
Blogger Connie said...

YEAH! Yankee Stadium! Go Yanks!

I hate to talk sports, but can you BELIEVE that the Red Socks think that they have a chance by buying that one pitcher from Japan for bazillions of dollars. Yeah, no.

Okay, back to reality. Great blog.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you got the other comment I made, ignore this one.

Wanted to say:

1) Mom and Dad's house in the mountains. Home, and Peace.

2) St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC.
Awesome! I was mesmerized.

3) My college campus. See blog.


12:25 PM  
Blogger work in progress said...

I can't think of a specific building off the top of my head. My architectural preferences are a bit less specific. I love old farm houses that are in good condition. I especially love when they are decked out for Christmas with white christmas lights and a candle light accompanied by a wreath in every window.

I love row houses, the ones where the buildings are identical but each household has a different and funky color front door with a unique and decorative knocker.

While I am amazed by the architecture of elaborate churches, the artist and spiritualist in me prefers the simplicity and symbolism of a small simple white clapboard country church with a modest bell tower and single cross.

Speaking of churches...have you heard? It's not a sin to be gay as long as you don't have gay sex! Saints be praised!

2:49 PM  
Blogger Ryane said...


~The National Cathedral in DC
~St. Rules Tower, in St.Andrews, Scotland
~Westminster Abbey..Amy, I am right there w/you on this one.
~My maternal grandmother's farmhouse in Southern, MD...esp. the view of it as one returns from the creek path...

There are many more, but I have not had enough coffee to think of them all...=-)

8:38 AM  
Blogger Barry said...

Interesting. Most all favorites, not because of the structure or architecture

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the majesty of the Portugese synagogue of Amsterdam, especially when the candles are lit

I love my own apartment, not because it is especially beautiful, but because every day I enter the hall I realise how WONDERFUL it is not to live in dorms anymore

I love the school I teach in. It´s not very big or neat, but when the children are really trying their best, or when they are working on some kind of crafts project about something I have been teaching them the past few weeks, and I hear nothing but the sound of crayons and pencils, it is the most beautiful place in the world...

PS. If the elements above are absent, it can also be the most horrible place. But that´s something for next time :-)

3:26 PM  
Blogger Charlie Mc said...

The Montauk Lighthouse. Brings me back to my childhood and the trips we'd make out there. Also represents LI in many ways.

Yankee Stadium. The feel, the history, the memories.....

The Lido Beach water tower. It's a beacon I can see as I head home each night. As I get closer to it, then finally drive right past it, I know I will be home shortly...

Jones Beach Theater. I've seen so many great shows there and have had so many memorable tailgates there.....

My grandparent's house. Although they are long departed, I still find myself driving past it whenever I get the chance.

8:42 PM  
Blogger David said...

Well, it's a bit of an understatement, but I sure do like what those Egyptians did. ;) The Pyramids of Giza are probably the only man-made structures to give me the same feeling of awe that I get from looking at the magesty of nature (Grand Canyon, Oregon coast). I'm also freaked out when I saw the Temple of Queen Hatsepshut.


Also, this is the building at the top of my "structures I must see before I die" list. It's the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and it looks friggin' unreal, like some sort of Tolkien fever dream. Check it out:


6:52 AM  
Blogger Steph said...

~Notre Dame cathedral in Paris from the other side of the Seine. Especially at night when it's all lit up.
~Pallazo San Marcos in Venice. The cathedral, the whole pallazo, even the government buildings, again at night when it's all lit up. Probably the most beautiful sight I saw while in Europe.
~The Summer Palace in Beijing, China. It's right on the water and absolutely breathtaking. The history of it is also so incredible.
~All the little churches in the south of France - Biot, St. Paul de Vence
~Wrigley Field. I was only there once, but I loved Wrigleyville, the seats on top of roofs, the history - such a great time!

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the first building that came to mind is the Dakota on 72nd Street and Central Park West. Before I moved to NYC and was only visiting I remember somebody pointing it out to me. It's enormous windows. I felt like if I stood there all day I could peek into the history of Lennon and Ono. I feel like when you stand right outside where the security man stands in his little booth and look into the corridor of the building you could be standing there in 1972 or 2006.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Clearlykels said...

It is funny how memories affect how you think of a place. Wonderful. There are so many buildings-- I just love becauseof a memory.

11:32 AM  
Blogger ThoughtsGalore said...

This is a great one!

Old Main at the University of Arizona. I had so many firsts there. It's the beautiful original structure of the university. It's still there and just the sight of it takes me back.

I love this old house I live it. It's old, white, and the character of the lines jump out at me every time I walk into a room. I imagine who else has stood in these rooms, looked out over the water, waited for someone to come home from war...celebrated in the dining room overlooking the current outside. Love it!

That's what I have for now. I love this one!
thinking of you...

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love old 'fachwerk' houses nestled tightly between narrow cobblestone streets...

10:47 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

What an interesting post. I would agree with the Chrysler Building, which is so much more beautiful than the Empire State Building.

9:51 AM  
Blogger ThoughtsGalore said...

Happy Thanksgiving Sweet Amy...

9:29 PM  
Anonymous shoppergirl said...

Great post! My favorite buildings are usually old ones with lots of history. Southern antebellum style is a favorite. I love love love houses with ginormous porches. Though I don't have one. :)

12:10 AM  
Blogger K9 said...

/bark bark bark

sagrada familia, barcelona
grrrrrrl ...just hi


3:40 PM  

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