Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Upper East Side Doings
This is a slightly fuzzy picture (blame my fuddling with the manual settings) of the sunset looking west from my balcony last week. It doesn't include our best view of the Empire State and Chysler buildings, but it is a more peaceful, beautiful view than today's.
As some of you may know, I live roughly 1/2 mile from the site of this afternoon's small plane crash in Manhattan at 72nd Street and York Avenue. But in fact, even with my balcony door open to catch the fresh air, I didn't hear any major impact (or I didn't notice), and the sirens weren't in quantity or style unusual to my ears. I learned about the crash when someone (and then another kind someone) called to see how I was.
I went up to our roof, basically the 33rd floor, where we have a great 360-degree view, but today is overcast and getting rainy. I could easily see that 2nd Ave., where I live and two avenues west of York, was blocked up with brake lights and had cruisers with their sirens flashing every few intersections. I don't believe I could see the building as it was obstructed along my sightline by others, but I'll analyze more closely the photos I took just in case. Some neighbors of mine also standing on the roof pointed to a thin column of rising smoke as being from the accident, but it looked like a very pale and organized expulsion to me, more like typical white heating spume than smoke from a fire. (Update: Now that I see news footage from the Brooklyn side of the East River, I can see the source of the smoke I saw is definitely a thin stack tower at least a couple streets north of the action. So, I didn't even see that. I'm not sorry, just noting that this was a very quickly contained event.)
One thing I can report with certainty is that the sky is droning with helicopters, both NYPD and news organizations. The swarm of their rotating headlights blinking through the mist make them seem like unwieldy fireflies, dangerously close to collision themselves. From the news updates playing behind me, it seems like this will be judged a very sad accident of someone perhaps flying a small, fast plane along the East River and changing directions with disastrous results. Terrible and tragic and deadly, but not as awful as what we might have imagined. Resquiat in pace.
I might have been too absorbed to notice anything as it happened because of a new personal development, proving what narcissistic tunnel-vision I can achieve. And to those of you non-New Yorkers, not suffering the trauma of immediate physical and emotional deja vu which some people are reporting today, perhaps my change of subject won't seem so grotesque.
If you read my Bermuda Triangle post among other miscellaneous whines, you know I've been feeling star-crossed by the inexplicable lack of response to my manuscript from various nice and professional types I've met who've asked me for submissions. Yesterday, one of these agents called me, and apologized for somehow losing track of my submission since I sent it in May. But he just relocated it. And he read the first twenty pages. And he wants to see the rest of the manuscript.