Thursday, July 19, 2007


This morning, following yesterday’s steam pipe explosion at 41st Street and Lexington Avenue, the 4-5-6 subway I normally take from 14th Street to Grand Central Station (to catch the train to Yonkers) was not stopping at 42nd Street.

So, I exited the subway at 33rd Street and walked north on Park Avenue to reach Grand Central on foot.

At 39th Street, where Park Avenue becomes two-tier, the street was blocked to vehicles allowing pedestrians to walk on the elevated part of the street to continue approaching Grand Central. It was surreal to be on the road – and it afforded probably the best look I may ever get of the clock and sculpture of Minerva, Hercules, and Mercury (pictured above) that adorns the top of Grand Central’s south facade.

I also had the chance to take a good look at the large statue of Cornelius Vanderbilt in front of the south facade. I’m not certain I had ever noticed it before. The statue’s black color blends in with the dark windows behind it. Seems an odd location for “The Commodore,” the dominant force behind the New York Central Railroad.

I also was surprised this morning that I did not hear a word of complaint about all of the detours faced by those on the streets (many of the entrances to Grand Central were closed). Having faced such a larger catastrophe not so many years ago, it seems as if New Yorkers take smaller incidents such as this in stride.

One person did die in yesterday's explosion and some 30 were injured.

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