New York City, January 8, 2013

★★★ A bucket of concrete, hanging on a cable from a tower crane, rose through the canyon-slice of morning sky down Amsterdam Avenue, from the yellow-pink horizon up through a gradient to blue, 30-some stories to the currently topmost slab of the rising building. Finally it cleared the shadow of its own construction, and sunlight hit the safety-orange of its upper surface. It swung in, did its work, and swung out again, over and down into the shade. Two hours later, it was still going, its curving bottom lips pursed against yellow-white where the yellow-pink had been. The afternoon light downtown was yellow too. Steam blew gently eastward. Down in the shadows, in the still, grimy space between buildings, a young red-tailed hawk perched on a cold metal railing, waiting to kill rats.