Daily Office: Friday



¶ Crash: I could take a picture, but it wouldn’t be very informative: the crane rising among the buildings to the north is no longer there. According to images seen on NY1, the crane sheared away the walls of the apartment building to the south. Gothamist is already on the case.


¶ Jittery: All the commotion, though several blocks away, has been unsettling. I feel for the residents of the evacuated buildings — not your ordinary inconvenience. 


¶ Children: What the latest updates on the crane collapse don’t show — and what I can’t photograph effectively; sorry! — is the crane-to-remove-the-crane that’s parked in the beau milieu of First Avenue, complete with son et lumière lighting. The son is provided by the helicopters that continue to hover overhead.

Morning, cont’d

§ Crash. I heard it come down. What I heard sounded like a truckload of steel rods rolling off a flatbed truck. It didn’t sound catastrophic, but it didn’t sound good, either. I dozed. Then the sirens started up. Kathleen awoke with a terrible headache — I suspect that she heard it, too.

Afternoon, cont’d

§ Jittery. We have a fine view, from our balcony, of the rear of the building into which the crane cab and boom fell, shearing away balconies, not walls as reported earlier. From the street, the building is faced in white brick. What we can see looks a lot more like cinderblock.

The building under construction, to be called “The Azure,” has  been heavily marketed in the Real Estate section, and there’s a sales office in the old Coward Shoe/Blockbuster Video location at 86th and First. I wonder if they’ll change the name. The building itself would appear to be altogether undamaged — which is rotten luck for the folks across the street, when you think about it.

Megan just called from JFK to say goodbye — she was actually returning my “bon voyage” call of yesterday afternoon. “Can I call you back?” she asked. And today she did. She was so busy packing, &c that she didn’t know anything about the fallen crane until I told her. She was happy that she’d reached the airport before hearing about it.

After two days in Amsterdam, the newlyweds will fly to Entebbe, Uganda, via Nairobi. I think that it’s so cool of Megan and Ryan to be spending a week in the heart of Africa, and as soon as I find an Overanxious Parents’ Online Support Group, I’ll be fine…

Iron Man was probably not quite the right movie to see today. But Sex and the City got a terrible review! And I was never particularly fond of the show to begin with.

Night, contd

§ Children. M—, once upon a time our neighbor on Candlewood Lake, asked if we missed our house up there. We had to say that we didn’t, but it wasn’t until she and her family were headed back to Connecticut (where they are visiting her father; they live outside of Cincinnati now) that I regretted not having made the point that we do, very much, miss living next door to them.

The children are no longer children. As I tried to warn my old friend, they are about to be the parents of her grandchildren. They’re certainly much closer to that than they are to being the little folk whom Kathleen and I watched progress, in my case pretty much daily, through the stages of healthy early childhood.

I’m sure that I drove both of them crazy with memories that jarred against their own new and proud senses of autonomous selfhood, and I expect that they’ll both have to wait to be older themselves before they can imagine how fond I am of them because I can remember, for example, the fun that E— had the day that his mother let me watch over him for a little while in my kitchen. As Kathleen used to say, my kitchen was a wood shop with curtains; I detested cabinets, and stored everything on shelves that would have held books just as well. Big pots and pans were stored within easy reach near the floor, and my charge delighted himself by hurling them every which way and making a joyful banging noise. Talk about Iron Man!

How can anyone not delight in children?