What’s in a number — such as the address, “666 Fifth Avenue”?
An interesting if only entertaining cogitation.
We all know what those three numerals stand for, a symbol of the nefarious, an anti-christ (in Revelation perhaps the Hebrew code name for Nero Caesar) or simple bad luck. It comes to mind recently because the U.S. president’s son-in-law seems to have been dragged down by bad fortune tied to his company’s ownership of the building, which is two billion dollars in debt (and a subject of a special prosecutor’s investigation). “After proudly rising amid the 20th-century Manhattan skyline, and changing hands three times, 666 Fifth Ave. has become a devil’s bargain for (him),” is the way The New York Post phrased it.
Going back to the Seventies, when it was fashionable to dine at a restaurant on the top floor (“Top of the Sixes”), the “sixes” were in huge illuminated numerals at the very top. One should have known better: this was also the decade of The Exorcist!
To make matters more conspiratorial yet, one of the tenants was an investment-banking firm owned by the fabled globalist mega-wealthy Rothschilds.
Later, the restaurant was turned into a cigar emporium where movers and shakers — the “wolves of Wall Street,” as one writer put it — collogued as they lit each other’s stogies. It has been “a tower that has served as a symbol of corporate power and elegance since it opened in 1957,” said The New York Times. When the Kushners bought it, it was the most ever paid for a Manhattan skyscraper (and promptly lost them money).
“The Curse of 666 Fifth Avenue, the Skyscraper That Could Sink the Kushners,” moted The Daily Beast (as a liberal publication, with a bit too much detectable glee).
Okay, a little worldly diversion in the deepening phase of Lent. Someone we know well once was set to sign a contract for a book about U.S. seers with Doubleday Publishers, a major publisher housed at the time there at 666 Fifth (between 52nd and 53rd, very close to St. Pat’s) when, during the concluding call, the phones went out and stayed out for half an hour.
That led to a bit of extra prayer, during which the author felt very strongly that he should cancel the book, which he then announced, to the shock of the editor, once the phones (which were out only in that building) returned to functionality (never was the decision regretted).
Out west, across parts of Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona, is old Route 666 — not just a superstitious number, in this case, but a stretch of road notorious, at least in New Mexico, for a high accident fatality rate, along with strange accounts of phantasmagoric creatures at roadside, ethereal hitchhikers, or a ghostly, threatening truck (it goes by Indian burial mounds).
Due to the connotations, it has been renamed “491.”
And so it might be for the Kushner edifice. If his family can hold onto it, they plan to change the address to a safer “660”!
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