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Winter's Tale on Final Frenzy

From the chapter "The City Alight" in Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin:

Two days after Christmas, young men and women were dancing at the Plaza, the lifters were roaring over the harbor, the bridges to Brooklyn and Queens were alight with evening traffic, and the factories had resumed their rhythmic work. Lawyers who never slept took in bushels of facts and regulations, and spat out arguments twenty-four hours a day. Deep underground, repairmen were at war with pipes and cables to keep the city above them illuminated and warm. They moved with the tireless determination of tankmen in an armored battle, straining to turn huge ten-foot wrenches, facing explosions and fire, digging like mad, rushing squads and battalions through the dark tunnels, their miner's lights bobbing over dirty and timeless faces Police fought through mortal encounters in separate incidents all over the city, foreign-exchange traders held six phones in each hand, scholars in the same room at the library were, nonetheless, in a thousand different places as each bent over his book in one of the thousand clear pools of steady lamplight. And they danced at the Plaza—women in white or salmon-pink dresses, and men in black and white and cummerbunds. Balding violinists with pencil mustaches and amazingly dissolute faces filled the marble-columned court with music. Hanging thickly from the columns and the ceiling were streamers and bunting in pink and gold that gave the dancers a summer glow. The backs of the chairs were draped with beaver, mink, and other furs which, as if they could remember the cold, were cool to the touch. Outside, carriages were trotted by, and warring winds from the north shook the icicle-covered trees like crystal bells. The finery and fine movement, the health and dancing, the joy itself, were soon to come undone.

^z - 2015-01-20