The incredible Corinthian apartment tower, with its myriad bay windows looms behind St. Vartan’s Church at 2nd Avenue and East 34th Street.
The Corinthian was constructed in 1987 by architect Michael Schimenti on 645 1st Avenue between East 37th and 38th. According to Jim Naureckas of New York Songlines, Corinthian “is used to mean ‘luxurious’ because Corinth was the party town of ancient Greece–noted as the home of Aphrodite’s sacred prostitutes. The fountain in front of the building is called Pierene – named for the fountain in Corinth where the flying horse Pegasus was captured.” Of course you remember Ricardo Mantalban’s “Corinthian leather” car commercials in the Super Seventies.
When I hear “Corinthian,” though, I recall Neil Gaiman’s Corinthian character from the Sandman series in the 1990s. At first a killer and later more sympathetic, the Corinthian usually wore sunglasses, to hide the fact that his eyes were open mouths.