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Crane Management, or: JiffyJohn Airlines

I was on the Red Line yesterday morning, earbuds in, trying to decide whether I liked Matthew Sweet's new album, lazily looking out the window, when from the corner of my eye I saw two PortaPotties flying through the sky.

PortaPotties are not things you expect to see in the sky, but there they were, gracefully floating through the air, about 100 feet off the ground. They dangled from a construction crane, one of five cranes that twist back and forth, up and down, near the New York Avenue station. The building site bristled with the signs of construction: Workers scurried about like termites, concrete was pumped out of nozzles. The toilets, I guess, were being moved higher in the building, now that it was no longer just a hole in the ground.

I watched through the window as they went higher and higher, flightless birds suddenly granted the ability to soar. As the train pulled from the station I realized I had missed my chance to snap a picture, so at Union Station I hopped out, rushed across the platform and caught the next train north. But by the time I got out at New York Avenue, the PortaPotties were already in place and the crane was lifting a bundle of lumber. Still, watching the cranes move, raising and lowering their respective loads, was like watching ballet dancers at work, or gigantic seabirds picking their way along the shore. And I wondered what crane operators do when they have to go to the bathroom.


Where in Washington Winner
Yesterday's mystery postcard was of the Federal Trade Commission, or what's known as the Apex Building, since it's at the pointy end of Federal Triangle. Our winner was Liz Scott.

By John Kelly  |  December 30, 2008; 9:13 AM ET
 | Tags: Washington, construction  
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I suspect the answer to your question may be rather "jarring," to some.

Posted by: mfromalexva | December 30, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

They keep it bottled up. Just another hazard of a very hazardous job.

Posted by: reddragon1 | December 30, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm a bit more curious about what the cranes are helping to construct?

Posted by: OldLady1 | December 30, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

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