I don’t usually consider myself jealous of extreme wealth, but outside my window tonight is one of those times. Apparently Elton John is throwing his 60th birthday party at St. John the Divine, the cathedral across the street from my apartment. The paparazzi are out in force; I can hear the screaming fans when particularly famous people arrive. (My superintendent told me that he saw Angelina Jolie and Paul McCartney; all the people in the right side of the picture below are paparazzi.)
But that isn’t what made me jealous. What made me jealous is that he has put giant spotlights behind the cathedral, such that the guests inside can see the stained glass even though it is the middle of the night. That is something I may never get to see, so yeah, I’m a little jealous. I wandered out in the rain to see if I could get interesting pictures of the cathedral under the spotlights. Some came out pretty nicely, I think.
I’m not much for focusing on the wealth disparities in our country. But it is hard not to when on one side of the cathedral there are limos, and on the other side, right under Elton’s spotlights, there is barbed wire to keep out Harlem.
More pictures here. The Columbia student paper blog notes that there is some irony in holding your birthday party in a cathedral when you’ve apparently said you would like to ban religion completely. :)
(Krissa is out of town, else I probably wouldn’t be posted in the middle of a saturday night ;)
4 thoughts on “St. Johns under the lights of Elton John”
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Across the street from your apartment, eh? I spent the first eighteen years of me life at 603 West 111th. :-) “…and the bells of the ca-the-dral…”
That’s one of the biggest problem with the Cathedral – they are supposedly a very liberal church, but they are symbolic of the wealth disparity. They make sure that the people right down the hill from them are completely invisible to them.
They actually do a fair amount for the community, and they have stopped spending money actually finishing the cathedral. So short of taking down the barbed wire (which seems a reasonable precaution, given the level of crime in the park immediately behind them) I’m not sure what more they could do- they could stop investing in music at services (often the first thing to go at a broke church) but that would seem counter-productive- as soon as you do that, fewer people come to services, and then they stop donating, and you’ve again got less money for social services.
(The contrast between the activity level at St. John and Sagrada Familia is striking; I think it is a damn shame that they’ve been unable to raise the money to continue construction.)
[…] St. Johns under the lights of Elton John by Villa (villa) @ Sun, 25 Mar 2007 12:20:33 +0100 I don’t usually consider myself jealous of extreme wealth, but outside my window tonight is one of those times. Apparently Elton John is throwing his 60th birthday party at St. John the Divine, the cathedral across the street from my … Original post: St. Johns under the lights of Elton John […]
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