Fireworks on the 4th of July are expected.  July 3rd however, is the one day of summer that everyone is trying to either get into the city to enjoy the holiday festivities OR escape the city to anywhere that is quiet and lacking tourists.  I was driving to Brooklyn for meetings.  Roads were closed in the city to prepare for the July 4th festivities—the tunnel to get from Manhattan to Brooklyn had a vehicle broken down—there was construction all over Brooklyn congesting everything—I left two hours before my first meeting as I didn’t want to be late.  I arrived 30 minutes overdue.  Two and a half hours to go 13 miles.  Urban living at it’s finest! 

Driving back to my apartment was roughly the same scene.  When I finally drove into the parking garage, I wanted to drop to my knees and kiss the ground.  However, it is New York, so I settled for a fist pump and shouting “YES” as I exited my vehicle.

As I walked toward the elevator lobby, I noticed a large number of people waiting for the elevators.  Out of the corner of my eye I noticed 3 firemen walking into the lobby.  My first thought was that someone tripped the fire alarm as a practical joke.  I heard a doorman tell a resident that as soon as the fire department gave the “all clear”, they could bring the elevators down and all would be back to normal.  The firemen disappeared into the stairwell.  Three more firemen came into the lobby and disappeared into the stairwell as well.  After about 20 minutes, three police officers arrived with 2 paramedics.  This was not good. 

Did I mention that when the fire alarms go off in New York, it is city law that all ventilation systems shut down?  You got it, no air conditioning in July.  That always makes for great attitudes amongst crowds of irritated, impatient people.  Two hours had passed.  At last, one of the doormen announced they were sending down the elevators.  Yes!

Suddenly, I heard a noise that didn’t fit.  It was the sound of a water fountain inside the building.  The only problem with that is there are no fountains in the building.  As I looked up, I saw six elevators with walls of water coming from the ceiling of each and flowing into the lobby.  It was a scene that caused me to drop my jaw in stunned silence.  Elevators are operated with electricity the last time I checked—water and electricity can’t stand each other.  Again, not good. 

I no sooner focused on the elevator and the massive amounts of water coming from them, when the three police officers emerged back into the lobby.  They were walking with a girl approximately in her late 20s—she was sporting cuffs.  Apparently, the fire sprinklers in her apartment were screaming at her and she had to quiet them, so she did what anyone would do to quiet the voices.  She took a hammer to them.  In case any of you are wondering, if you damage a fire sprinkler head with a hammer, it releases massive amounts of water. 

A great, high floor view in New York is great—until there are no elevators.  So for the rest of the week, the stairs were the only option.  Thank goodness she quieted those voices!  At least now I know exactly the time it takes me to climb 40 flights of stairs! 

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