“It occurred to us that there is one feature of the Manhattan landscape that we have never analytically described: the faces. So we went out and examined them. The first thing that struck us was how many, many there are. They occur, with rare exceptions, in a narrow belt of space between four and six feet above the pavement. A few glimmer darklingly from windows at an elevation higher than this, and once in a great while, usually late at night, a face may be seen on the pavement itself, but by and large the faces, with surprising conformity, restrict their ebb and flow, advance and withdrawal, as well as their more intricate cross- and counter-movements, to the narrow lateral area described above. Here they hover, like a dense pink cumulus, in a dogged flux as remarkable for its variety as for its nagging persistence.”

 

John Updike, The New Yorker, Talk of the Town, Nov. 17, 1962

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