The Unbearable Banishment: Welcome to New York! Did you remember to pack a helmet?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Welcome to New York! Did you remember to pack a helmet?

A block to the east of this building...

...near the entrance to Bryant Park you'll find these two beauties.

That fella on the right is the new headquarters for Bank of America. I'm not a big modernist but I actually like that design. At least it's not just another upended glass cracker box like its neighbor to the left. It has some interesting contours and angles.

Here’s a close-up of the façade of the Bank of America building.

Those dark spots? Those are boarded up windows where the panes of glass fell to 6th Avenue during construction! This occurred on more than one occasion. It happened at this time last year and I don't understand why they haven't replace the glass yet. I remember coming out of work and being horribly annoyed because I couldn't walk down 43rd St. I later found out that they had to block off the area because it was raining windows.

My favorite quote from the linked story:

“I saw the glass fall,” said Ana Contreras, 40, a roasted-nut vendor who runs a stand at 43rd Street and the Avenue of the Americas. “I was sitting right here.”

And then, proof positive that Ana is a true New Yorker:

Ms. Contreras said she was seated on a milk crate under an umbrella next to her vending cart and was unafraid as the shards of glass fell around her.

Because everyone knows that a vendor umbrella is the best protection against a plate glass window that's plummeting to earth at a high rate of speed.

The previous year, eight people on the ground were injured when a bathtub-size steel bucket full of debris fell from the roof of the same building.

Not long after these incidents, Bank of America purchased the detritus of the collapsed Lehman Brothers, which was the first step in pulling BoA under water.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

only in new york :-)

September 8, 2009 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Au contrare, Nursemyra...

I think it's something against bankers, personally.

September 8, 2009 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Barlinnie said...

Holy Christ! That's a first for me, surely someone was bulleted over that?

September 8, 2009 at 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whoa. i get cranky when i have to dodge bird poo...

September 8, 2009 at 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eek !

September 8, 2009 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger Ellie said...

If you're not afraid of eating a hot dog, you shouldn't be afraid of glass falling from the sky! (Just kidding, of course!).

That is truly and remarkably shocking (and humorous).

September 8, 2009 at 5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In one of my many incarnations (at least job-wise), I worked for CNA Insurance in Nashville. The main office was housed in this hideous red glass building in Chicago that was known far and wide for its windows falling out. It was kind of a spooky place.

September 8, 2009 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger Jason Quinones said...

a couple summer back maybe,walking around on my lunch hour, not far from bryant park, there was a building under construction. there was a large crane hauling god knows what above the street when it suddenly struck the building. building debris stared falling to the street. stone and metal bits were hitting car and cab rooftops.

i calmly kept walking away from the site with my eyes skyward looking out for falling debris.

some idiots ran away wildly,screaming frantically, helping no one. others just screamed and pointed, waiting to become debris targets.

others RAN TOWARD the falling debris to take crappy pictures of it with their cell phones.

i don't understand people sometimes...

September 8, 2009 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Jason Quinones said...

just to be clear, it wasn't falling boulders or massively destructive debris. big enough to put dents in car rooftops from what i saw and enough to do damage to your skull if it were to strike you but still not enough to go apeshit bananas like i saw some people doing. and certainly not worth sticking around for to take pictures of.

just clarifying...

September 8, 2009 at 5:58 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Nurse: Jo says no!

Jo: If a chunk of glass falls on an investment banker, is it too bad for the chunk of glass?

Jimmy: We've had construction equipment fall off the tops of skyscrapers! For real.

Daisy: Your daily dose of perspective from The Banishment.

LKSN: More like, SPLAT.

Ellie: I think it's pretty funny stuff, too. But we shouldn't...

HIF: And nobody died? I won't lean on glass in my building for fear of falling out. It's only 7 floors but that's enough to do the trick.

Jason: Wasn't there an epidemic of cranes toppling over a while back? I witnessed 9/11. That's enough wreckage to last me a lifetime.

September 8, 2009 at 8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UB--yes...there was at least one death...maybe two.

September 8, 2009 at 8:27 PM  
Blogger JZ said...

Not a "modernist"!??! Say it ain't so. If you embrace Bukowski, you have to at least appreciate the importance of buildings like Lever House or the Seagram Building. They're born of the same mother don'tcha know... And don't forget, in the world of big-M Modernism, the Guggenheim counts just as equally.

So do tell: What is your opinion of Gehry's IAC building? I'm not a big fan of such willful form-making....

September 8, 2009 at 8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those dark spots? Those are boarded up windows where the panes of glass fell to 6th Avenue during construction!

Dang! I would have guessed:

Those dark spots? Those are boarded up windows where discovered rogue hedge fund traders "punched out" and leapt to their deaths!

There are some kinds of severe storms, tornadoes maybe, that would suck every piece of glass out of buildings like those. Wouldn't that be interesting? A tornado in New York?


September 8, 2009 at 9:06 PM  
Blogger Jason Quinones said...

yes, cranes falling into buildings were pretty popular for awhile.

at least it slowed down some of the building of those lux condos and office bulidings for a bit...

didn't it?....

not really....

before that there was that transformer in midtown that exploded...

that was a fun!

September 9, 2009 at 12:12 AM  
Blogger Sid said...

That's messed up. Didn't someone get seriously hurt?

September 9, 2009 at 1:47 AM  
Blogger ~E said...

I was born with a hard head... bring on the rain!!!

September 9, 2009 at 3:53 AM  

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