Monday, April 5, 2010

Ay Caramba!

This is probably old news to all of you, but what the hell??

That's a Seattle Times photo of the Icon Grill at 5th & Virginia from last Friday. Whether it was the windstorm or some kind of structural weakness is still not known, but sometime in the morning, part of the building's facade collapsed. Three people were injured (one seriously), two cars damaged and bricks and assorted crap fell all over the sidewalk. I saw that the cops had the intersection roped off but couldn't figure out what they were up to. Well, this was it. Here's how things looked this morning:

Yeah, there's no indication where all that crap fell from. I mean, there isn't a big visibly missing chunk of masonry. But man, those poor people, just tootling along and then, KLUNK-KLUNK-KLUNK, a building collapses on you. The weird thing is that the structure has been reviewed and rated as sound by some engineers. Yeah, it's structurally sound all right - except for the part that fell into the street!

So it's come to this. Our buildings are collapsing on us. What's next, a pet rebellion? Dogs, cats and the occasional boa constrictor openly defying humans? After that, sweet people, our appliances will try to murder us. And they just might succeed. You know, last year around this time, I was in a gloomy frame of mind. I wandered around this crummy city, feeling that it was distinctly possible that a large and heavy chunk of something could shear off of a building and squash me flat. I thought about it enough to remain wary for a while. But then, summer came and I forgot about everything. I can see that those worries weren't completely unfounded. My point - and I do have one - is never trust a building. They'll collapse on you if you let them. Well, let's wish those three people (and two cars) a speedy recovery. And do take it easy walking down the sidewalk.

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