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Jonathan Rosenbloom has a number of passions, the law among them. But he is also an architectural illustrator, an editor, an avid explorer of Gotham streets and structures, and — lately — a tango dancer. In a time when attorney jobs are hard to come by, it helps to be a bit of a Renaissance man. The eye remains sharp, and the head stays full of alternative ideas, Rosenbloom suggested. Of the relationship between his first two loves, jurisprudence and architecture, he explained: “Surprisingly enough, I did good at law school. Magna cum laude. And I’ll tell you why. It’s because of where I studied before — the Rhode Island School of Design. “I was taught [at Rhode Island] to really analyze details in order to command a picture,” he said. Rosenbloom is a 1997 graduate of New York Law School who now works as managing editor of publications released by the school’s Center for New York City Law. “How each small architectural detail fits into the overall scheme of what you’re building.” These days, Rosenbloom, 30, pursues his architectural impulse by making detailed renderings of New York buildings — obscurities and landmarks alike. “I walk around like a perpetual tourist,” he said. “With my head up, inspecting interesting cornices and friezes.” After serving school internships at the Massachusetts State House in Boston and the Essex County District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Rosenbloom was inspired by constitutional and civil rights law. On to New York. “My parents were involved with various movements in the 1960s and ’70s, and so they knew attorneys like Elizabeth Fink and Daniel Meyers,” he said of the two well-known New York civil rights lawyers. “The two of them sort of took me under their wings.” After graduating from New York Law, and successfully passing the state bar examination in July ’97, Rosenbloom worked part-time for Fink and Meyers on minor criminal cases while also working a fellowship at the campus Center, directed by Professor Ross Sandler. Then for the next three years, Rosenbloom worked full-time for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, helping pro se defendants in cases involving civil rights, constitutional law and employment discrimination. Shortly before last year’s Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, Rosenbloom was in transit between his position with the Southern District and a whole new career with the New York City Department of Homeless Services. “But there were some aftershocks of 9/11, and hiring freezes went into effect,” he said. “I’d already put in my resignation [at Southern District]. I was complaining to Ross [Sandler] about it, and he said, ‘Well, I’ve got a person leaving. Do you think you’d like the job?’ “It helps to look at things from different perspectives.” So Rosenbloom runs what Sandler calls “our little publishing house” at the campus Center. The effort began two years ago with the first Web site library of decisions through the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, the city’s chief administrative tribunal. To which has been added a backlog of case decisions from such agencies as the city Loft Board, Conflicts of Interest Board, Civil Service Commission and the Board of Human Rights. The center now publishes newsletters and monographs as well. “Half our readership consists of non-lawyers,” said Sandler, a former advisor and city commissioner under Mayor Edward I. Koch. “We’re removing the mystery of [city] government, and making it available to lawyers, lobbyists, citizens, students — anyone.” Meanwhile, Rosenbloom has pretty much exhausted the mystery of his “big drawings” — the Chrysler Building, the Woolworth Building, the Brooklyn Bridge and other such venerable structures. He now looks to more obscure sources: oddities hiding in plain sight. “I’ve probably been asked to leave 20 or 30 buildings,” he said. “This is when I get to hanging around too long making my sketches.” There was the recent discovery, for instance, of a workaday building in Manhattan’s Garment District — a nondescript edifice, save for the inexplicable frieze of an Assyrian hunting scene. Or the Bowery Savings Bank building at Park Avenue and East 42nd Street, with its inlays of monsters gnawing on human legs. Or the lion chomping off a human head at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. “There’s so much stuff in this city!” said Rosenbloom. Now comes the Argentinean exotica of tango, thanks to a passion Rosenbloom caught from his girlfriend. “It’s been great,” he said. “It takes me into a whole different feeling than drawing, and gets me into populations I’ve never come across.” He spends a lot of dance time at one of the city’s hottest tango parlors, the Triangulo of Hudson Street. Which, of course, he means to draw. “Oh — you should see the building!”

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