The sky is falling. The leading cause of death in NYC is having a crane fall on you. Not really, but it's starting to seem that way. Two of these big-ass cranes have collapsed within a two month period. Not too long before that, another crane dropped it's load onto a Midtown street with people diving under cars and one of the construction supervisors getting crushed as he sat in an office-trailer that took the brunt of the hit.
And it's not only in NYC that this is going on.
Last Tuesday, I was driving down E. 44th Street. A flagman stopped me so a crane could pick up a load off of a flatbed trailer in the middle of the street. The truck drove out from under its load and I watched a few dozen tons of steel start to rise over the street. As soon as the truck pulled away and the steel started to rise, the flagman waived me through and the cars behind me started to honk their horns.
Are you out of your fucking minds? Sorry, I sat there and waited until the steel was all the way up and swung in over the 35 story building they're putting up. At least in that case, I could kind-of count on any catastrophe to fall straight down. When the big cranes go, they tend to fall a bit sideways, so you don't know where it's safe to be standing other than really far away.
After one of the cranes collapsed here, an inspector was arrested for falsifying his reports to indicate that he'd inspected cranes in spite of the fact that he didn't really even come to work on those days. Another guy was arrested last week for taking bribes to sign off on projects without ever visiting them.
Look at some of these suckers!
This one's got huge steel plates rigged as counterweights. A few days ago when I was driving into the city, the counterweight end of it was swung out over the street. I'm sure they're securely fixed to the crane so that they'd never fall on anyone driving underneath and then unbalance the crane and make it snap like a twig and fall in the other direction and kill a bunch of other poor folks who made the mistake of walking down a street. Yeah, I'm totally sure of that.
I realize I'm supposed to have some deep final point...some insight that makes it worth me typing this and you reading it. Sorry. These things are scaring the crap out of me and I'm going to start altering my routes to avoid them. That's all I've got.
And since that bridge went down in Minneapolis, bridges have me a little jittery.
I think I'll stick to flying. At least we know TSA is keeping that safe by preventing those dangerous Air Marshals from boarding flights.
I'm going to take a nap now.