Explosion in Midtown

You have probably heard by now that a steam pipe exploded yesterday at the height of rush hour at the corner of 41st and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. Yes, I am okay and was not one of those who were covered with steam and mud. The blast shut down Grand Central Terminal and the surrounding blocks in Midtown East, an area I must go through twice a day because of my commute. I was at work when it occurred and knew it was going to be a long night when I saw it on the news before I left my office.

By the time I got up near the site, the city was a mess. No one knew exactly what was working and what wasn’t, all of Lexington Avenue was closed down for blocks and people were everywhere. There were those taking pictures, those that stood around watching, and, of course, the tourists who either enjoyed the excitement or vowed never to come back to this crazy city again. I kept asking the NYPD at the blocked intersections if I could catch my Metro North train from Harlem or if the 4,5,6 subway line was running further uptown, but no one seemed to know. I tried calling some friends to see if they were stuck somewhere (might as well hang out together, I thought), but the few friends I contacted either made it home already or had the day off. There is currently still a “freeze area” for several blocks around the site, causing my commute to be a little longer until all is resolved and the subways begin functioning as normal. And although I stated above that the city was a mess, I really meant that the city was abnormal. After commuting through Midtown for over three years now, I know the beat and the rhythm of the City and can tell when things are different. Yesterday, there was a feeling of something different. And rightly so. All in all, the response by the City and its people was good. The explosion caused inconveniences for many, but that is sometimes what living in New York City is all about. I am just happy that it wasn’t something worse (click here for Bloomberg news coverage)


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