Sitting on the wide
steps in Union Square
Park, the number display
and the smoking wall hold my attention as usual
The smoking wall:
On the tall side of a building, there are narrow
sheets of metal protruding, cookie cutter style,
bent in a circular fashion. It looks somewhat
like an electric burner, not quite spiraling
because it's a series of broken lines, not
contiguous. Each one either closer in or further
from the center than the one before, like a mocking
labyrinth with no start and no finish, just walls
curving and splitting. They don't project much,
although from down here it's hard to say. And the
center: It spews smoke. There is a light hidden
somewhere behind it, the nighttime effect is of
gold metal, white light, billowing steam. Perdedor
tells me it took them over two years to build,
working at night. I haven't been able to find
documentation or an explanation anywhere.
The lit numbers changing:
There is a display of lit numbers, moving and
counting, right next to the smoking wall.
Different numbers at different speeds,
constantly. It looks like this:
Just numbers, no separators or anything.
Many a night I've sat and watched the display.
None of my friends know what it is. We figgered it
was counting minutes of the millenium, but no.
the 3rd - 6th placeholders counted up. The 10th - 14th counted
down. At different speeds. We concluded it was
random, and left it at that. Last night,
watching it for over half an hour, I worked it
Here goes... there are 15 or 16
placeholders, some of the numbers move so fast I
The first six digits show the time, hour
. The middle three digits are
miliseconds, I'm assuming, because they move too fast
to follow. After that comes: seconds left to the
minute, minutes left to the hour, hours left to the
day. Half the display counts up, the other half counts
It was a pity I was there myself, I was
so thrilled to have worked it out. I lit another
cigarette and chuckled.
Apparently I'm not the only one who's
wondered about this wall, but EagleEyez
me the URL
that contained all the information I'd
been missing and more.