A million ways to die in New York

New York, like many cities, is often referred to as a jungle. And in jungles there are many life-threatening dangers, like poisonous plants, poisonous insects, large cavernous animals, small cavernous animals and so on. I’ve talked about the exploding manholes, which makes me nervous every time I think about it, not to mention the muggings, murders, assaults, armed robberies and such like. Well this week the high winds claimed their first victim in Manhattan. Yes indeed, you’re just not safe anywhere, least of all walking down a perfectly normal sidewalk in a nice part of town in the the middle of the day.

One afternoon, bride-to-be Tina Nguyen was in front of 175 West 12th Street when a huge piece of plywood somehow came loose from the condo conversion, The Greenwich Lane, in the old St. Vincent’s site, across the street. The plywood slammed the poor 37-year-old into the building’s brick wall. According to NBC New York, “The plywood hit her at a high rate of speed, police said, causing her to hit her head. She suffered severe head trauma, bruising and lacerations” and later died.

And that’s not at all far from where I live.

Liberty House Rector Place

Also not far from where live, in fact I can see it from my window, is Liberty House on Rector Place. This is where, just last weekend police found the body of a 41-year-old woman who’d had her wrists and her throat slashed open. Charming. Now, Battery Park City is not where this sort of thing normally happens. The worst thing that normally happens is maybe getting run over by any one of a billion baby buggies that fill up the sidewalks through the daylight hours. This is a building where south-facing apartments offer an utterly unobstructed view of the bay and can go for $millions.

Apparently, the parents of the deceased hadn’t heard from their Texan daughter in a while, so they asked the police to check. And what they found was a scene right out of American Psycho.

I wonder if the realtor will tell the next tenants. I wonder if there would be a discount.

Then of course there was the horrific crane collapse in Tribeca, killing one and injuring two others. It’s a miracle that more weren’t hurt.

Tribeca crane collapse

Naturally, this isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened. The website cranecollapse.com is a great source of info on this macabre matter. For instance, a large mobile crane dropped its load in June of last year in central Manhattan after part of the load rigging failed.

But even if you do dodge the falling cranes, exploding manholes or the hammer-wielding maniacs hanging around Penn Street, then you might just as easily get pushed in front of an oncoming subway train by a schizophrenic nutcase. Or of course you might just slip, fall through a plate glass window and bleed to death when you’re shoveling snow. In the words of Bob Morton, that’s life in the big city.