redthroatedloon: (Default)
[personal profile] redthroatedloon
I came out of the HSBC bank at the corner of 14th St. and Sixth Ave. at about 12:30 p.m. today, and I saw that across the street, on 14th headed toward Fifth, the east-bound lane had been cordoned off for several yards. There were police everywhere: guiding traffic, guiding pedestrians, speaking to each other. A small crowd had gathered on either side of 14th St.

They were staring at a yellow tarpelin in the center of the cordoned-off area. At one end of the tarp, some white towels had been spread. At the other end, I could just see two feet, one clad in a white low-heeled pump, the other bare, its shoe sitting a few inches away. The woman was face down. She was light-skinned. And she was dead. That's all I know about her. It's probably all I'll ever know about her.

As I crossed Sixth Ave., a stocky guy with a large video camera on his shoulder walked right up to the cordon; the police immediately shoo'd him away. Two other guys, apparently with him, paused to argue with them for a moment, but then left as well, and all three took up stations across the street. Two other guys in civvies with badges joined the police; probably detectives. They all looked serious, quiet.

I continued to walk east. A few yards down from the woman, on the same side of the street, was a large -- very large -- white truck with police tape across the front. It was parked there; there was no sign of a driver. Two police officers were examining the front left tire carefully.

In NYC, there are a lot of ways you can get hurt at an intersection, and a lot of ways you can hurt others. I've spent my life crossing streets here, and I've also driven here, and it's nuts. You can get hit by somebody racing to get across before the light changes, by a frustrated driver trying to turn while dozens of pedestrians cross, by a truck driver who simply isn't paying attention. You can hit somebody who crosses against the light without even looking to see if you're coming, because they know they have right-of-way, or who starts across the street right after the light changes under the assumption that it will take the cars a minute or two to start up.

I was very careful walking back to my office.
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July 2010

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