Changes  (Thursday Doors)

On an empty block west of Central Park
rose twelve houses–not a dead end street,
not wild, but quiet–perfect for the well-to-do.
They proceeded to fill the line of brownstones
with their unquiet and disorderly lives.

~Time changes the faces and the facades~

Homes are bought and sold and sold again.
Doors are replaced, stoops deleted, details erased.
A school opens, caters to the well-to-do.
Only the guardians remain to trace the years–
older now, but still fascinated by human folly.

In fact there was one particular house on this block which made me cross the street, Number 38–perhaps it was the multi-paned windows, or the arched door, but I was pleased to find a guardian over the door as well.

As I walked further along the block I saw more and more similar guardians. Some were over doors, but some had become window guardians when the stoops were removed and the doors placed on the garden floor. This is often done when houses are divided into apartments.

At least one had its guardian removed altogether, but I didn’t take a photo of that one. Had I known that this row of brownstones was all designed and built at the same time, 1886-1888, but the same architect, Increase M Grenell, I would have taken photos of all twelve doors.

The guardians are all slightly different.

Number 28 has lost its stoop, so the guardian is over the window above. The transition is a bit clumsy.

Number 26 now houses Columbia Grammar School, a private school which charges $56,000/year tuition. Yikes! I also really dislike that awning, or whatever it is, over the doors.

I’m not sure that doors are an appropriate subject for a puente poem, but I wrote one anyway for Tanmay’s W3 prompt; the middle stanza was to contain the title of a song. I chose David Bowie’s “Changes” and included some of the lyric words in the rest of my poem as well.

As to changes in these houses, you can read a detailed history of the early residents of number 38, coincidentally the house that first caught my eye, and their chaotic lives, here

 And you can always find more doors here at Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion.

Bowie knew all about changing his facade as well…

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About memadtwo

For more madness, follow me on Instagram @h_zimel methodtwomadness is a blog of two friends, Nina and Kerfe kblog is Kerfe's solo branch on the tree

58 responses to “Changes  (Thursday Doors)”

  1. Suzette Benjamin says :

    Great doors, they look modern yet with the guardians, their feel is from an earlier age. I like that architectural mix. Excellent photos. I like the wide shot with the four doors and the two poles.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan Antion says :

    What a wonderfully creative post. The addition of David Bowie is perfect. I think your poetry works well. And I agree 100% with your thoughts on that awning (and the Yikes at the tuition for grammar school). I’m off to read the history of #38. Thanks for sharing this with Thursday Doors!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ordinary Person says :

    A very unique take on the prompt. I liked it a lot. I loved the pictures too. The guardians above the doors are a great touch.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Destiny says :

    such great images and equally grand words to go with 🤍

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Aletha Kuschan says :

    Sounds like the mid-1880s was a boom era for the makers of door guardians!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. merrildsmith says :

    I think doors are a perfect subject for a puente–and changes. These buildings certainly have seen many changes. I like the poem and the photos–love the reflections in the windows (of course 🙂).

    That awning thing is odd. I don’t know if I hate it, but it’s strange. I can’t tell if it’s there for some practical purpose?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tanmay Philip says :

    Your city has some fascinating architecture (and some very high tuition fees it seems), and the stories you create around them is something I’ve never seen anyone else do so well. The stone guardians whisper so many fascinating secrets. This is an absolutely splendid puente.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ingrid says :

    I am so intrigued by these guardians…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. neil reid says :

    Well done Kerfe. Tho confess, being a stranger in a strange land. Me more a country small town boy. But interesting to see how the town-folk live. 🙂 Agree about that over/under the top door canopy – what were they thinking. Door treatment is nice however. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. msjadeli says :

    I just read the article on #38. Danged creepy. It would behoove anyone considering moving into an old place like this to do some research on what’s gone before.


  11. sustainabilitea says :

    That tuition is more than a little steep, that’s for sure. Great doors and details on these houses. I always wonder why people worry about what went on in a house before. I don’t believe in ghosts or that houses absorb evil or anger or whatever. You might get a rather nicely low price on one, though. How boring and mundane of me! 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    • memadtwo says :

      I think everything contains its history–how it manifests is another thing. But I can understand your point, Janet.
      There would be no bargain on any Manhattan brownstone, no matter the history. That’s the reality of real estate here and now.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Liz Gauffreau says :

    I love your poem accompanying these intriguing doors and facades. I checked out the occupant history of #38. I’d say the place was jinxed.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. boundlessblessingsblog says :

    Great architecture and history too has always fascinated me. A lovely post, Marta.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. robertawrites235681907 says :

    HI Kerfe, I really enjoy your contributions to Thursday Doors. I am learning quite a bit about your interesting city.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. wordsandcoffee1 says :

    The permanence of the guardians works well to tie it all together. Nice one!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. D. Wallace Peach says :

    The guardian of #38 looked a bit to me like he was in the midst of rolling his eyes – a result of or a reason for the chaos inside (?). I enjoyed your poem and photos, Kerfe. I find these interesting and fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Brenda's Thoughts says :

    Very cool guardians and I love the reflections in the windows!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Tanmay Philip says :

    Greetings K,
    I have decided to choose you as poet of the week for this week’s W3 challenge. There were so many wonderful entries to choose from, but yours really stood out for me. I do love a poem with a story, and you told such a fascinating one.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. judeitakali says :

    You have very fascinating walks/journeys.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. ben Alexander says :

    Why would you think that a puente isn’t suitable for doors? 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  21. D. Avery @shiftnshake says :

    So many changes, even as the buildings continue to stand. I like how the focus is towards the guardians that bear witness to all the changes. And Bowie is fantastic. Have you seen Moon Age Daydream yet?

    Liked by 1 person

  22. lesleyscoble says :

    🌹What an amazing poem ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  23. s.s. says :



  24. JosieHolford says :

    I love your Thursday Doors!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Sherry Felix says :

    I like your focus on the guardians.

    Liked by 1 person

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