Bye, Buddy. Hope you find your dad.

This is the now-completed Freedom Tower in lower Manhattan. I live just across the river from it. I see it many times per day, and I have an important proposition regarding it.

Let me preface this by saying: I love freedom.

I think democracy is just dandy. I don’t particularly love Congress, but I am a big fan of representative government and of having the right to vote. Big. Huge. I love apple pie. I don’t like baseball, because baseball manages to be ten times duller than golf while somehow featuring twenty times the number of simultaneous players, but I do love the colors red, white, and blue alone or in combination, and I am, it should go without saying, a big proponent of freedom of speech.

Oh, I also like buildings. I live in one, and I frequently participate in other activities that require being in a building. Buildings are fine inventions.

So, the Freedom Tower: it has a very large antenna, which glows blue at night. The antenna, in tandem with the slightly tapered shape of the structure, combines to make it look like an enormous narwhal is thrusting its horn majestically (and blue-ly) into the sky from New York Harbor.

I would love nothing more than for local vernacular to adopt “The Narwhal” as the nickname for the Freedom Tower. (If that seems too disrespectful, I would also be okay with “Freedom Narwhal” or “The Narwhal of Democracy.”) To that end, I respectfully request that:

1. You immediately begin referring to it as The Narwhal.

2. You forward this message to ten of your friends, with special priority given to those in and around New York City, and let them know that if they forward it to ten of their friends, they will have a stroke of financial good fortune within the next week, and if they fail to do so, a family member will be killed in a tragic yet darkly hilarious narwhal-related accident.

I expect to see #freedomnarwhal trending on Twitter within 12 hours. If you loved me, you would do it.

Thank you.


  1. Michelle, there’s a wonderful kid’s book you may be interested in: ‘ Do Narwhals Have Blowholes?’

    It, uh, has nothing to do with the building. It’s about two yetis looking for a narwhal. One of the yetis is named Fast Freddy.


  2. I’ve always wanted to contribute to the American vernacular. My last attempt was “claving.” Long story but it didn’t work out beyond the 10 good friends that I know… I shall use “The Narwhal” to refer to the tallest building on the Island. We will make this happen!


      1. I don’t know, I feel like there’s probably a circumstance in which being suddenly confronted with a gherkin would be quite shocking. Plus, “gherkin” is a REALLY fun word.


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