Shake, rattle, Osama?
Posted by metaphorical on 18 July 2007
The fire in Manhattan today (CNN.com story here) was a little disconcerting to those of still in the office, a mere seven blocks away.
Though it turned out to be a steam explosion leading to a transformer fire (with at least three people injuredUpdate: One death), our thoughts immediately turned to past disasters, especially given the obvious proximity to Grand Central Station and the Chrysler Building, two obvious potential targets.
A little after 6:00pm EDT, I heard a rumbling, which I took to be thunder, since it had rained in the morning, heavily enough for several trains between Queens and Manhattan to be out of service from flooding. The rumbling continued, though, and eventually I looked out my window to see smoke billowing from what looked to be Grand Central. A minute later, the sounds of firetrucks and then police cars could be heard, and they I can still hear them every few minutes as I write this, about 8:00pm.
The view from my office was excellent:
and that from my editor’s office even better. Our photo editor took a shot from there and sent it to CNN before heading home to Brooklyn, as best she can. By 7:20 or so, it was up on cnn.com as the third of three pictures of the event.
Commuting is going to be quite a nightmare tonight and, surely, tomorrow. My own train lines uptown have been re-routed, so I’ll end up on a bus, in a taxi, or just walking (60 blocks). It’s the people in Queens who have the big problems though. The 7 train runs through Grand Central and has been re-routed as well, so Queens people have very few options, given the flooding problems of the day. My mother drives in most days and at 6:10 was stuck in terrible traffic near the 59th Street Bridge. I’m sure the local news will have shots tonight of people walking across the bridge.
It looked bad for a while, but it turned out to be just another day in the Big Apple.