The last place you'd expect to find a statue of Lenin is atop an East Houston apartment block, especially one framed by a giant backwards clock. But it's there, and in 1996 the owner kindly allowed me 30 minutes on the roof. I was living in the newly democratic Czech Republic at the time, and felt keenly the irony of a communist icon waving to twin beacons of capitalism. He seemed to be waving hello. Years later it was bye bye.