* One of my favorite things on Twitter is Chicago Sun-Times reporter Tina Sfondeles’ “Men watching construction projects” tweets. I don’t quite know why, but they fascinate me and I’ve been impressed with how many “likes” and retweets they get. I’ve suggested to Sfondeles that she should think about doing one of those coffee table books.
Anyway, Neil Steinberg wrote a column about her tweets…
“It began as two men staring at a large crane near the Franklin Street Bridge,” [Sfondeles] said. “Then others joined in. I would see this phenomenon nearly every day — with men peeking at the construction site from different vantage points. Some just stood near the bridge for a clear view. Others peaked through gates and mesh covers. Some peeled the covers down to view the site. Others stood on top of a water pipe to get a better view. And this happens nearly every day, rain or shine.”
What does Sfondeles think is going on here? Men “never outgrowing a childhood love of Tonka trucks,” she explained. “I find it really endearing that these men get lost in thought while staring at the site. It’s a little time out from reality.”
There is indeed an aspect of channeling your inner child, or your actual children.
“It’s just fascinating to little kids,” said Griffiths, who has two boys, 2 and 5 years old.
What do the construction workers think of being watched? Do they even notice?
“We see people looking at us a lot,” said Michael Femali, an operating engineer for James McHugh Construction in Chicago. He said he doesn’t mind, particularly when it’s a little kid in a stroller.
“Every time we see a woman pushing a stroller, we always see kids waving and pointing, all the time,” said Femali, who operates a tower crane. “Every time I see a little kid waving I always try to wave back.”
“I’ve been doing this 25 years,” he said. “I kinda like people watching. I understand what’s going through their minds, what they’re thinking.”