Friday, May 30, 2008

Safe in Astoria (and Pennsylvania)

Photograph by Seth Holladay

While living in Manhattan, I never felt unsafe. I wasn't stupid about anything, you understand. I didn't walk into the subway alone and drunk at three in the morning, but all the places I lived in felt very safe to me, even when I didn't have a doorman. And I have to admit that I never actually checked the police statistics of Astoria, so I don't know how technically safe it is, though it feels pretty safe, if a little more desolate than Manhattan at times.

That being said, something happened that actually made me really happy that I moved out of The Electra in February. At eight o'clock this morning, a crane crashed down on top of it, destroying the rental office (which was the pent house) and tearing chunks all down the north side of the building, which is where Ace and I lived. You can't see the building in the picture above, this is right in front of the building, but you can just imagine the building from it. While no one inside the building was killed, the same can't be said for the construction workers - there were two fatalities. That construction was going on for half the time we were living there, though I'm not sure the crane was there before we left.

This is the second crane collapse in two months, so there is going to be an investigation, but we'll see what comes of it. Who knows if this is a pattern or just an unfortunate coincidence. Mayor Bloomberg says that as much as he doesn't want to slow down the economy, it's not going to stop him from stopping construction if he has to. I like the Mayor. I think he's not afraid to take unpopular positions, though I can't say that wanting fewer people to die is unpopular. I'm just saying.

I don't really want to talk about anything else. That seems a little heartless. I'll try to post this weekend, though, to let you know how my week went. In short, it was fine and I loved having Monday off. In fact, I loved it so much that I'm taking this Monday off and next Monday, too. (I have to use up vacation days before they disappear.)


  1. This news was in the newspaper in my country! I was wondering which part of town it happened, but I never imagined (of course!) that it used to be YOUR building... I thank fate for saving you and Ace, and at the same time pray for the construction workers' happiness in heaven (that's how we address condolences in Japanese)... from HappyS

  2. Wow! I can't believe it made international news. Thank you for the well wishes and your prayers. I definitely went to services and offered up a prayer of thanksgiving that same day.