Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"Janus Manhattan" : home to both wartime's synthetic plutonium death-dealing and to natural penicillin lifesaving

Why write fictions about Manhattan --- when its real life is so much more exciting than anything Hollywood screenwriters could ever dream up ?

What cautious Hollywood studio boss is ever going to greenlight a fictional script that sets up the Nash Garage Building at Manhattan's 133rd Street and 3280 Broadway as the wartime home of the death-delivering technology that produced almost all of the world's nuclear weapons and the Lutheran Hospital at Manhattan's 144th Street and 343 Covent Ave as the birthplace of the push for providing lifesaving penicillin for all ?

Janus Manhattan : home to both Gordon Gekko and Emily Lazarus

It all seems to be too neat and too cosy a location for such a monumental clash of human values : to set this cosmic clash in two small buildings half a mile from each other, two buildings that are within sight of each other from their top floors.

But it actually happened that way - the same tiny space , the same brief moment in time : the Summer of 1943 : working to producing endless Little Boy death bombs versus working to save the life of one little baby girl named Patty Malone.

I suppose - pace Tom Wolfe the younger -Manhattan fiction allows an author to gild the lilly.

 But first you must start with really beautiful lillies.

And non-fictional Manhattan has them in buckets ...

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