Endless coats of enameled paint have blurred the details of this ironwork. Some blacksmith, long forgotten, forged these guardrails, following exact instructions from a man also long forgotten, a man with too much money and no vision of tomorrow.
The guardrails wend along a staircase in a fibonacci spiral for three stories, each sweeping pass wider than the next, until culminating at the top; a vast expanse of the city.
"No roof access," declare the signs along the way. Don't believe it for a moment.
Three flights above the streets isn't much, in the end. The asphalt below seems distant; the pinnacles of steel and glass, monuments of industry, tower much higher. Falling would be preferable to climbing. And for a moment, falling seems an option.
No, three flights above the streets isn't much. But from here, a swatch of the city is laid bare, from 10th to Childers, along North and 16th, and all the sidestreets between. The skyline rises above it all, backlit, stormclouds coalescing. Windows picked out in light, here, there. Like phosphorescent survivors.
This is the city. Where street level is noise and confusion, culture and wisdom, all wrapped in decaying possibility. Where sky is stormy and thunderous.
This is the city, girded in concrete and brakelights and five million people's thoughts.
This is home, or so it is said. But without you it seems hollow sometimes.
This is the city.