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Posts Tagged ‘leaded glass’

Kensington 1903-2009


Its  odd what you get used to, living in the shadow of  Kensington, a large three story brownstone with ten apartments & too much litter. Kensington itself was tall, dark & handsome with a foreboding manner with its red bricks & art deco lighting, you just knew you’d be safe inside; no big bad wolf could blow that place down. Many people lived there and even though some of the traffic through there was bad, you do get used to your neighbors and the routines of life around you.


Kensington burned Monday June 29th and I am amazed at the loss I feel, although I really only lost some noise, drug deals, and a reason for some cautious paranoia.

I did have an amazing cat live in my back yard all last summer that belonged to someone there (his name was Niet).  He died in the fire.


Perhaps that’s the grief I really feel. Knowing it was in his apartment that the fire started in, and feeling the heat, choking on the smoke, watching the tenants huddled together as they lost all that they had. The grief was crushing.


Watching the rest of  Kensington being torn down was like watching an autopsy as the Y incision ripped apart the wood floors, snapping the marble stairwell, claw foot tubs and little girl’s bicycles tumbling out like intestines, stopping only when the last leaded glass window shattered.


You could actually hear Kensington moan. Maybe it was the radiators.

I no longer live in the shadow of Kensington. I’ll never get to see the little girl get her training wheels off her pink bike or look for Neit in the window on the second floor right side.


I do still hear the beeping of the smoke alarms though buried in the rubble as if a heart monitor is calling out to say I ‘m still here. But nobody’s there: not the little girl, not the yappy dogs, not the cat, not even the shadow… all because of a cigarette.

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