John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Whenever you're performing a controlled demolition, it's always a good idea to check the weather. You know, so a wind shift doesn't blow a cloud of throat-clogging dust all over the area you've reserved for sightseeing.
That's exactly what happened last Wednesday in Vitry-sur-Seine, in the southern suburbs of Paris, where wrecking crews fabulously misjudged the prevailing wind patterns when taking down a 14-story apartment building. The moment when celebration turns to shock and dismay in the above video is a wonderful thing to behold. Whoever chose to keep Pachelbel's Canon running throughout the dusty disaster must have a rich sense of humor.
Here is additional footage obtained by the BBC: