The Power of the Oculus Compels Me

Oculus 1 Oculus 2

Twelve years and $4 billion of public funds (Port Authority) later, the Oculus has reared its lovely (?) head and stegosaurus body for the world to see. Why commuters need such a monstrosity as a transportation hub seems to be a moot point, as it will be housing multiple high-end retail shops and is surely benefiting someone. Why the $4 billion wasn’t earmarked to rejuvenate the decrepit Port Authority Bus Terminal at 42nd Street which has not been rehauled in 40 years and filter-feeds about 250,000 commuters daily, never ceases to amaze me. Having spent the last nine years commuting in and out of this bus station from New Jersey, I can tell you that it leaves much to be desired both aesthetically and otherwise.

PA 9-3-14Gate 224 (2) 9-3-14

(all photos by E. Herd)

I guess it all comes down to perception. Now that my office has moved to the Financial District, I have been blessed with the opportunity to behold, I mean, worship, the Oculus on a daily basis. I have yet to step within its glistening turkey carcass chambers. I am waiting for the right moment. Not sure when that will be.

As John Keats said, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”

Remember in 2001: A Space Odyssey how the monkeys went wild over the monolith? Well, now we have our modern-day monolith. I haven’t seen any monkeys banging at it yet.

9 thoughts on “The Power of the Oculus Compels Me

  1. The power of Wall Street…that’s what the Oculus is all about. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand I get all this downtown revitalization is a big fuck you to the terrorists and the world…but I also understand that it’s just another example of creating space for the wealthy and the tourists; ignoring yet again the basic needs of all the people, and all people need basic decent dignity when commuting! Commuters spend hours each day traveling to from work in this great city, yet they travel in an antiquated transportation system. Another reason I’m feeling the Bern….Fuck the Oculus, Let’s build our nation’s infrastructure!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with you, Nancy. The Oculus was not constructed with the working man/woman in mind. I read somewhere that it is basically a high-end shopping mall posing as a transportation hub. I think the 9/11 memorial is a wonderful thing and anything that pays respects to those who perished on that day. The grotesque opulence of the Oculus and other such structures is merely dedicated to the elites and tourists who can afford to shop there and the mega-real estate moguls and some politicians (including Chris Christie, I’d bet) are profiting from them.


    • It’s super modern, still under construction. The good part is that there is an underground passageway that commuters can take straight to our building so you don’t have to go outside in inclement weather (or ever, if you don’t want to).

      Liked by 1 person

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