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This displaced and very dear object caught my eye during one of my routine strolls to the snack machines in the Pupin building. Pupin is a research building for physics in Columbia University. I am taking an evening course there in computer science. Facilities there are laid out in a most strange way: the ladies room is on the 5th floor, the mans room is on the 10th. The snack machines are on the 11th floor (which is also where the table you see below hangs). What's more - and if you've ever been to that part of Manhattan you'll know what I mean - the building is a block and a half away from Morningside park which is really a green strip that separates that part of Harlem from Morningside Heights. So, if you make the mistake of taking the IRT 3 or 2 train instead of IRT 1 or 9 to 116th Street, you will end up on Lenox Ave with some horizontal and a good vertical miles between you and Pupin. Well, that last figure is a bit exaggerated but not a heck of a lot, believe me. First there is a climb up the steps of Morningside Park, then a 1 block stroll down 120th and then another climb into the campus proper. But the reason I mention elevation is to point out the next peculiarity about the building. Roughly one half of Pupin rests practically on the summit of Morningside Heights; it is the half exiting onto the campus. The other half - the half facing north and exiting onto 120th Street... that half is some 4 or 5 stories lower hence the second climb. Thus the elevators have 2 ground floors as it were: one campus level or 5th floor, the other street level or 1st. Add the fact that the elevators stop at only about half the floors (while most floors are accessible through the stairwell) and you have one strange building, folks. So, it is in a hallway of this building that a countryman, no doubt, has placed on display a Russian copy of the periodic table.




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