Photograph courtesy here.
In case you’ve never seen it: the Needle is an obelisk, not a needle, and it doesn’t have anything to do with Cleopatra. I guess the British just thought the name sounded cool when they brought it to London. It’s about seventy feet tall, which would’ve been really impressive back in ancient Egypt, but on the Thames, with all the tall buildings around, it looks small and sad. You could drive right by it and not even realize you’d just passed something that was a thousand years older than the city of London.
Rick Riordan, The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles)