Gotham Note:
17 May 2018

¶ Burger King is gone! I don’t know when the 86th Street branch was closed, but I was shocked to make the discovery. I hadn’t been in a while. You may think me depraved for going at all, but sometimes a cheese Whopper with fries was just the right lunch. It was rarely the right dinner, because the old lady who ran the operation during the day usually left at the end of the afternoon, and the staff members who took her place were usually amateurs. After dark, Whoppers tended to fall apart before reaching their destination.

There’s a McDonald’s, but it’s three times farther away, all the way up to Third and then down a block and a half. Might as well go to Shake Shack and do it right. 


¶ The lotus lamp is gone! The lotus lamp is a floor lamp that my grandparents acquired perhaps a century ago, when electric lighting was still experimental. It’s a floor lamp with three gently bending stems, two of them as tall as I am. The tall stems are topped with Edison sockets concealed by lotus-blossom shades that are made out of wire mounted panels of capiz. (Two of the panels have been lost.) The short stem is about four feet long, and it terminates in a chandelier-bulb socket for which there is no shade. There are also three long spear-like leaves.

The lamp was originally painted black and green; I no longer remember which parts were which. My mother, when she got hold of the piece, painted it all in white. I have done nothing with it during my thirty years’ possession — nothing until now. After much discussion over the years, Ray Soleil arranged for a craftsman with whom he has worked professionally to take the lamp to his shop for an overhaul. New wiring, new paint, and renovated shades. I’m told that this will take a month, but I’m prepared to wait longer. Right now, I have a dark corner to light. 

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