So I started reading The Da Vinci Code this morning on the train to work. The introductory matter indicates that the ultra-Catholic and rather scary Opus Dei organization has fairly recently constructed its world headquarters at 243 Lexington.
That's only about two blocks from my office but I couldn't picture the building, so instead of going straight to work I figured I'd amble over to 34th and Lex and take a look. I discovered I was well familiar with the building. It's a red-brick structure on the northeast corner that looks like a regular high-rise apartment building. On the 34th St. side of the building there are a few benches set amidst some low bushes, with a sign identifying this as a small public space proferred by Murray Hill Place, which is also the only name to be found on the building.
I took a look at the 34th St. entrance, then, feeling a little like a conspicuous gawking tourist, I wandered around to the Lexington Avenue side to see if there were any other identifying marks to be found. For some reason, the complete lack of anything but another modest MURRAY HILL PLACE sign struck me creepy and ominous.
I was just passing the Lexington entrance, craning my neck, when a loud voice at my shoulder said, "Hey, buddy!"