When I stand on my balcony, I can see the United Nations, the East River, the famous Pepsi sign, and Egypt, Nigeria, and Kuwait's missions to the U.N. But most of the time, that's not where I look. My attention is usually fixed on one of the United Nations Plaza buildings. It's my favorite building in New York.

Look at the top. Doesn't it appear to be paper thin? Isn't that astonishing? How do architects and builders do that? What kind of mind even conceives such a thing?

I like looking at all sorts of buildings from grand old courthouses where the size and grandeur of the building lends gravitas to the proceedings going on inside to fieldstone cottages where the muted-toned stones are hand-selected and installed and from limestone buildings with gargoyles peering down from under the eaves to contemporary buildings, the kind with more angles than curves.

Some people, when they go on vacation, prefer to visit mountains or lakes or the ocean. I like the ocean—as many of you know, my husband and I are pretty serious snorkelers. But one of my favorite thing to do is visit cities. I like to walk the streets and look at buildings. You can tell a lot about a society by its buildings.

What about you? What kind of architecture do you prefer? This conversation is another variation on an ongoing theme. Some of you will recall that I blogged a year or more ago about perception and preference. Why, I asked, do some people prefer blue? Why do others gravitate toward Queen Anne furniture? I find this question of enduring interest—a mystery of personality and upbringing and an individual's definition of comfort and accomplishment. I write about it in my mysteries.

What's your favorite building? I'd love to hear about it, what it is and what about it attracts you. I welcome your comments.

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Comment by Jane Cleland on October 21, 2008 at 11:49am
I do love that building. It is indeed a lovely Art Deco building that we are lucky to have. Thanks for sharing.
Comment by D.R. MacMaster on October 21, 2008 at 8:32am
My favourite New York building will always be the Chrysler building. I just have a weakness for the optimistic futurism of Art Deco.

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