Best comeback by a huge geometric shape (2008)

The Return of the Astor Place cube

If you thought there was something missing from the East Village last summer, you weren't just imagining it. In March '05, the parks department removed the 15-foot steel art installation called the Alamo from its perch just south of Astor Place's Lexington line subway stop to have it restored. New Yorkers soon wondered, "Where else are we going to find a huge black square balanced on one of its corners that we can spin around like a top?" But after it had its base reinforced, its inside and outside cleaned and repainted, and its pole greased up (total cost: $37,000), last November finally saw the Return of the Astor Place cube. In point of fact, the cube was just supposed to be a temporary installation by Bernard "Tony" Rosenthal in 1967, but because of neighborhood support, it's become an iconic part of the Village landscape. Now local slackers can squat at its base and gleefully skateboard around it once again.


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