Wednesday, July 18, 2007
A New York scare
Today was an adventure of a different sort. I went to a client site for the day and when I left, met up with my daughter who works in the area. Both of us tired, we walked together toward Grand Central Terminal, looking to get a bite to eat and go our separate ways.
As we approached Bryant Park, we noticed people milling around in larger numbers than usual, not going anywhere, talking on cell phones, staring off in the distance, aiming cameras and phones all in the same direction. It was eerie.
“What happened?” It was obvious something had.
People with a little bit of information offered it up. “A transformer exploded near Grand Central. People were hurt. The cops are saying it’s not a terrorist attack.”
It actually turned out to be a 24” underground steam pipe, not a transformer. Chalk up another disaster for Con Edison!
We weren’t sure which trains and subways were running, though the ones nearest Grand Central appeared to be down. We found a line that was running and rode downtown to her apartment where we turned on the news, got online, and formulated a plan. By that time, trains were running out of Grand Central, but the only way into the terminal for passengers was from the north. I’d be able to get home after all!
My daughter and I were distant enough from this problem to simply be inconvenienced and confused. But there were people in office buildings all around the explosion who felt the streets rumble and buildings shake. Lights flickered, and thoughts of terrorism propelled them down many flights of stairs, where they were met with steamy white smoke and possibly asbestos in the air.
This sort of incident reminds that there are no assurances in life. Today I have cancer. Tomorrow I could be victim of a different sort of carnage. Life is precious and fragile and nobody knows just what’s in store.