August is a month that is unkind to this city. Summer's heat catches up with us. The air can become a bit stale. The sweet scents of springtime reach a maturity that does not encourage deep inhaling.
Tempers can be short. Hairdos can be twisted and frizzy. Attention spans can be tested.
I live near an intersection in which three heavily trafficked roadways intersect. Broadway, Amsterdam Avenue and West 71 Street. The complex choreography of vehicular and pedestrian motion is directed by various traffic lights. Not all participants follow the directions.
The above photo shows a yellow taxi whooshing through a walkway as some walking workers returning home try to share the space. It is twilight and the soft colors of early evening give a bit of atmosphere to the picture.
Here is another view of the homecoming crew. Just behind them you will see a city bus on its way down Broadway, and just to the left of that bus is one of two little "subway houses" that provide entry to those wishing, or required, to ride the subway trains. The station's below ground train platforms are hot, very, very hot. It is a blessing when the air-conditioned subway train arrives and its door click open.
We New Yorkers pretend to ourselves that we get used to summer in the City. Some of us so wish that we could give the month of August a miss.
I did not have to work today and gave myself a pretty agenda-less day, with only a few errands, and some phone calls to friends, and a bit of reading and needle crafting.
Mid-afternoon, after the midday heat, I went out for a short walk. I returned to find a huge traffic jam at the intersection I showed you. Trucks, cars, firetrucks, ambulances, police cars, pedestrians, bicycling persons. Horns honking. Sirens shrieking. Two police women were valiantly attempting to direct the traffic flow.
Tempers were rising.
What had happened? Was it the subway? Was anyone hurt? We New Yorkers know that bad things can happen.
Well. What had happened was that one of those fast-moving yellow taxis had tried to make an unauthorized left-hand turn from a lane reserved for buses, and had been cut off by other traffic. Having no where to go, the taxi had crashed through the supposedly protective iron fencing around the traffic island and crashed into the subway house.
I am delighted to report that only minor injuries resulted. What concerns me is that we now have proof that those iron fences are no protection to pedestrians about to enter the subway stations.
The above picture shows the yellow police tape that has now blocked off the accident site. In the background is another NYC landmark, Gray's Papaya, purveyor of delicious hot dogs and legendary papaya juice. See the sign proclaiming a Recession Special.
Here is another view of traffic continuing up Amsterdam Avenue.
And another view of folks looking at the site of the accident.
And finally, here is the southern, or downtown, entrance to the subway station. The station remained open for passengers throughout the afternoon excitement. Our city just keeps going.
I know that I will have to continue to take the subway, and will continue to look in all directions before crossing any street. Unless my attention is diverted. Accidents can and do happen.
Best wishes to all.