Thursday, July 19, 2007

Reports of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated!

Several of you have been enquiring as to my safety after last night’s steam pipe explosion here in New York City. As many of you know, I work only three blocks from where the explosion occurred and use the subway at Grand Central Terminal to get to and from my office.

I am fine. In fact, I passed right by the spot where the explosion occurred on my way into Grand Central mere minutes before the incident. When I got home and turned on the nightly news, I watched incredulously as the street on which I had just been was reduced to something eerily reminiscent of 9/11.

For those people in the surrounding buildings, including my own office building, it was a terrifying experience. Not knowing what was going on, people were told to flee the area. Entire blocks were evacuated. My co-workers say there was panic in the streets as people, covered in dust and debris, fled for, what they thought might be their lives.

The footage was spectacular. The plume of steam engulfed midtown and rose higher than the nearby Chrysler Building. At its base, it was like something volcanic, sending torrents of putrid water gushing from a crater that had engulfed vehicles and opened a massive sinkhole in the street.

This morning there is a frozen zone — a quarantined area — encompassing that section of midtown. Nearby subways have been shut down. Turns out my office is mere feet outside the zone so I’ll be heading to work shortly, though, with no subway service in the immediate vicinity, I’ve got some walking ahead of me.

Thanks for your e-mails of concern.


Blogger Beth said...

WOW. I didn't realize it was that severe! Whew, glad you weren't taken out quite yet..... :)

9:24 AM  
Anonymous nate said...

New York always seems like so much fun!

You should brush up on NY's underground steam system. I think I got you a book or something.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, yeah, Nate, yeah!

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to know you're okay. I had no idea you worked so close to it.

10:25 AM  
Anonymous CM said...

Dang, and I was saving my copy of all your emails to sell at the inevitable auction of all your wares after your death!

Remember, we always more famous after death than before. Except when were not.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

In talking to my co-workers here, they heard the explosion and thought it was thunder (it had been raining pretty hard most of the day). But when they looked out of the window they realized that all of the people running had not opened their umbrellas. And they were screaming. And running out of their shoes. And dropping their bags on the streets. Then the alarms started going off...

11:07 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Dang it. I wish I had been here.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous CM said...

That's Dr. Dork to you!

11:24 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Oh yes, indeed. Sorry Dr. Dork.

(You spent enough money and sweat on that doctorate--you ought to be able to throw it around with wild abandon!)

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Calvin Wulf said...

The separation between life and death is a single breath. I am glad to know that you were separated by a few minutes. Even that is way to close my friend. Thanks for the good report. I was wondering.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

You should see the streets around here. It's not just near the sink hole but on all streets radiating out for blocks--emergency vehicles, power company trucks, police vans, you name it. They're tearing up the street all over the place, jack-hammers replacing the sounds of honking cabs in midtown. Everything is shut down, cordoned off with police lines and barriers to hold back the earnest gawkers.

Meanwhile, in the office, those who lived through 9/11 in NY are visibly on edge, talking of little else, trying to bleed off their anxiety through non-stop repetitive chatter about the incident.

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yikes! didn't realize you were so close! I hope the asbestos fears are not going to end up being an actual problem...

Daria : )

12:29 AM  
Anonymous nate said...

This was craziness? Is everything fixed now?

2:07 PM  
Anonymous nate said...

That first question mark is not supposed to be there.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

All the streets around my office are back to normal. Not sure of the hole itself, though I suppose it is still under work.

The asbestos seems to be a moot point, thankfully, though the city is now having to deal with irate citizens, like the woman who is suing ConEdison because the incident brought back the unpleasant reminders of 9/11. Give me a break.

2:11 PM  

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