Monday, August 16, 2010


I was headed over-the-hill on my bike — riding through the Top-of-the-Hill a.k.a. Kay/Catherine Street neighborhood — a week or two ago. In fact, I was headed down Catherine, beside the swooping wall of Hillside, approaching the bottom somewhat rapidly, when suddenly I thought, "Where am I?"

The reservoir looked different; it was bigger somehow. It took me a second or two (or three) to realize that the view had opened up because the carriage house (fancy name for a garage?) at the bottom of the hill was ... gone!

I'd always liked that carriage house; Mr. Betty and I considered it (in our dreams) a potential home at one point, when it was for sale. But it was a "project" — to put it mildly. It had been divided into units, as many carriage houses are, and undergone a period of relative neglect. Or so it appeared from the outside; we never actually went in.

Oh, but all those wonderfully-weathered (rotten?) shingles, one wall of which now remained, awaiting the final stages of demolition. And that cupola — mirroring the swoops of Hillside — sitting by a dumpster beside the road. I trust/hope/assume the new owners plan to duplicate it or at least pay homage to the design in some fashion. It'd be a shame, however practical, to throw such a thing of historic significance and (admittedly-subjective) aesthetic appeal away.

So, as I stood there, gawking at the trashed cupola, craning my neck to consider its shingled slopes and angles, a construction worker noticed me.

He said, "You want it?? Twenty bucks."

He then said he was kidding, but I wasn't quite sure ...