What do you think is more interesting: standing in a park waiting for a building to collapse, or standing in a park watching people waiting for a building to collapse?
I think it’s the latter, simply because there’s more to watch. I guess it’s a bit like watching cricket in some ways: you stand there watching, waiting for something exciting to happen, without any guarantee that it actually will.
And so you find yourself chatting to the people nearby and then guess what? You suddenly realise you can add the words “amateur structural engineer” to your portfolio.
Crown Street is closed and there’s a crowd of 200-300 people (plus an extra 100 from the media) standing in the park next the Clock Hotel (the view from the upstairs verandah bar must be terrific) watching, waiting for the imminent collapse of the “Indian Chili Restaurant”.
As the restaurant is located next to what was the Surry Hills Library, but which has been a construction site for about twelve months, a lot of people in the park are blaming the imminent collapse on the big hole in the ground.
“How long have you been here for?”, I said to a colleague who is coveing the story for television news. “Since 10 o’clock this morning”, he told me with a wry grin. All of the television stations (except SBS) seem to have crews there. We love a building collapse in Sydney, don’t we?
Overhead, there are more helicopters in the area than we had during APEC. And although I can’t imagine there would be a significant danger from its collapse, a police line has been established in the park, forcing the crowd back behind the children’s play equipment.
In the midst of all this rubber-necking, I feel sorry for the owners. Not only are they losing a terrific take-away (the food was excellent), but I read in one of the papers they’re not insured.