“It’s Episcopal?” one stunned visitor asked a docent. “It’s not Catholic?” Only 2.5 million of us, but the most stunning cathedrals in New York and Washington. So there. This one’s famously unfinished, especially the spires that front Amsterdam Ave., which stonemasons are building the Middle Aged-fashioned way, brick by brick. Plus the gift shop, in which the fire started, has not reopened, and the volunteer in the narthex wasn’t sure it ever would. So where does a guy get a Book of Common Prayer in this town?
During our visit, someone was tuning the really high notes on the organ, which added to the ethereal impression of a building whose highest reaches have been newly thrown open to upwardly cast eyes. Outside, in the children’s garden between the cathedral and diocesan offices, there was…well, the kind of bird you don’t normally see in Manhattan. From the look on his face, I don’t think he recognized me, either.
Brian St. John (that name again), of Orange County, California, tells me it's a peacock -- or, as Flannery O'Connor called them, peahens. But I thought they had colored feathers? Oops: Over on Facebook (where there is considerably more attention being paid to this question) Nancy Larkin confirms it's a white peacock. Thanks, friends!