Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Explosion in Midtown

If your Sterling senses have been tingling, it's because I've decided to break some of the previous formalities of The Wort Report with less structured, day-to-day posts intermingled with my usual critical musings about movies and such. I hope that you, the reader, enjoy the changes as I bring you semi-daily doses of geeky goings-on. I say "reader" because there surely couldn't be more than one of you. Could there?

Today was a pretty normal day at work. I'm never one to complain about being too busy, but I am juggling a few projects at once and things are hectic. Upon hitting the Midtown, NYC streets at around 6 o'clock, all that was on my mind was unwinding: cracking a cold one on the train, plugging myself into my iPod and drifting away for 40 minutes watching the last remnants of a summer rain storm batter the window beside me. It's the little things, sometimes, that bring you back to life at the end of a stressful day.

And sometimes it's the big things. The scary things.

As I hurriedly walked through Grand Central Terminal, I was greeted by a sea of humanity running frantically toward me from the Lexington Ave. entrance. Surely, I thought, these people are rushing to some late-arriving train. Little did I know that this was going on just outside: a steam pipe had exploded, killing one person and wounding more than 20 others as of this writing.

Of course, we're all much wiser as to what exactly happened, at the time people were panicking and putting together their own stories. I heard a few women discuss the possibilities of terrorist involvement, which surely fueled the hysteria of passers-by.

I'm not going to lie: It was pretty frightening. I got on the train, talking to the other passengers as we all tried to get a grip on the situation. We knew it was an explosion, some of us had seen the steam leak firsthand. One man was covered in soot. After discussing what had happened, we calmed down, and things proceeded as normal. Afterwards, it hit me: this was the first time that I had a conversation with a stranger on a train that lasted longer than a few seconds.

Like I said, sometimes it's the little things.

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by the incident.

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