When Does A Friedrich Become A Fedders?
I have been asked on occasion exactly what constitutes a “Fedders building”. Even after several months of featuring Fedders Friday here on New York Shitty I have difficulty coming up with a satisfactory answer. It is a highly intuitive process, but I will attempt to put my criteria in writing here and now.
A. It must be a building whose aesthetic concerns have been completely subjugated to the utilitarian. In other words, it must be ugly.
B. It must employ two or more of the following:
- Exposed electrical meters
- Exposed gutters
- Large quantities of concrete
- A decided preference for parking over plant life
C. Fedders air conditioner boxes must be present.
Some have said that I have unfairly singled out the chaps at the Fedders corporation when doling out the dubious distinction that is Fedders Friday. Here is my rebuttal:
All buildings which feature Fedders boxes do not automatically qualify as candidates for Fedders fame. It takes a special mixture of the above-listed points to make the cut. The previous having been said, I have noticed there is a strong relationship between hideous outer borough architecture and the presence of Fedders boxes. Not unlike how a special guest speaker at a Psych of Sexuality class in college corrected an errant classmate of mine so many years ago:
While most lesbians are feminists, not all feminists are lesbians*.
The same goes for Fedders. The product seems to attract developers who espouse a certain philosophy to home building: build ’em cheap, ugly and as quickly as possible. It should also be noted that I did in the interest of parity try to launch a feature called Friedrichs Thursdays. But experience has proven that buildings sporting Friedrichs air conditioning boxes (on a visual level, anyway) are a cut above their Fedders brethren. Until I walked by Union Avenue and Conselyea Street yesterday, that is.
This building is nothing new.
I have walked by it many times, tut-tutting over the exposed electrical meters and sheer quantity of poured concrete. I do have to applaud the builders for making this structure (somewhat) wheelchair accessible. Unfortunately, lifts do not count for much when they are obstructed by bags of garbage.
But on Tuesday something struck me as being amiss. Something new had been added to this melange of the mediocre. Something— dare I say it— Fedders-worthy!
It has been retrofitted to have central air conditioning. BADLY.
Note the extensive use of foam sealant and thoughtful placement of the air conditioning units. I have little doubt the experience of sitting on these balconies will only become more pleasurable with the added value of being blasted with air conditioner exhaust.
But let’s get back to semantics. Since this building sports Friedrichs boxes it does not qualify to be featured on Fedders Friday. However, it does embody the spirit of the glory that is Fedderism. Therefore, I would like to give this masterpiece a very special award: The New York Shitty Award of Excellence In Abjectecture.
Way to go, guys! I’ll be hard-pressed to top this beauty later this week.
*Which probably explains why I get along with lesbians so well: I am a feminist!