You may have heard about the steam pipe explosion that occured on 41st and 3rd yesterday, which is a block away from where I work. It wasn’t terrorism but, as Mayor Bloomberg put it, “a failure of our infrastructure.” One person died and about 30 were injured.
The sound of the explosion has been described as a deep, unending, thunderous roar. Tons and tons of steam and dirt and debris blew up into the sky like a geyser, and everyone just started running, looks of panic and fear on their faces.
I, on the other hand, HEARD NOTHING.
I was at the company gym, and it seems none my fellow exercisers heard anything either. True, most of us had our headphones on and were working away on noisy machines, but you’d think someone would have heard something. Though I guess there’s no reason to panic.
I found out what had happened when an announcement came on. Getting home wasn’t too bad. It’s a mile and a half, which I’ve walked many times. Tons of people were walking and having trouble with cell phones. I was able to make a couple of calls, SB and my mom, who had no idea what happened, prompting an infuriating conversation:
Me: Did you hear what happened? There was a pipe explosion. But I’m walking home now.
Mom: What?!? An explosion?! What?!?
Me (screaming over passing firetrucks): A pipe explosion! On 41st and 3rd! But I’m walking home now!
Mom: What?!? You’re walking home?!? But it’s so late!
It was 7 pm. Me: Silence, rolling eyes.
Mom: What happened? Which building exploded?
Me: Not a building! A pipe!
Mom: Which building?
Me: No! A pipe, a pipe!
Me: I don’t know! Watch the news! I just called to tell you I’m okay and walking home now!
Mom (finally getting a clue): Oh, okay! I’ll watch the news!
Me: Okay! Bye!
This morning I didn’t even bother trying the subway, but walked to work and showered at the gym.
All of this reminds me of when that house on Park Avenue exploded last summer. I was about 10 blocks away and again heard nothing. Guess my iPod works well.