Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building

This afternoon I was rolling across 126th Street in Harlem. The traffic on 125 was brutally slow for a sunny day.

Upon nearing Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard or 7th Avenue I ogled the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building and pulled over to the curb and stepped out of the pick-up truck to take a photo of the tallest building in Harlem.


A shout from behind.


“Are you taking a photo?” A female security guard emerged from her cubby hole.

“Yes, I am.” I was a big fan of the brutalist architecture of the African-American architecture firm of Ifill, Johnson & Hanchard, which had also designed St. Martin’s Tower.

“Then you have to delete the photos.” The unsmiling woman was not kidding about this edict.

“I’m not a terrorist.”

“I don’t care who you are. I’m just doing my job. No photos means no photos, unless you want the PD to come down here.”

I hate the police.

“No, you don’t have to do that, but it’s a sunny day and I love this style of architecture.”

“Don’t mean shit to me.”

“Okay.” There was no sense in argument or sweet-talking. I deleted the photos and went on my way. I was a working man and in the words of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. “A man’s respect for law and order exists in precise relationship to the size of his paycheck.

Ain’t that right.

In the words

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