In fact recently I was reading in Urban Life how one of these cranes recently hit an adjacent building:
Yes, it finally happened, we've been worried about living 6 feet from the crane and the fact that it comes within inches of our building every time it swings. The crane tipped into our building this morning between 7:30-8 am. Between the 2nd and 3rd floors, you can see 2 indents on the outside wall of 143 North 7th that were left by the 2 counterweights of the lower part of the crane. It was a frightening experiencing on the inside.
There are of course less graphic signs of the changes that are happening in Williamsburg: I recently heard that the "11211 building" which is next door to the Kellog's Diner (by Union and Metropolitan) will be converting from creative office space into a luxury condo building.
It's odd because when I first moved to Williamsburg back in Nov. of 2004 my thinking was that I was on the fringe being on the other side of the BQE. But slowly I've watched the match of progress creep from Bedford to Havemeyer Street - and now the very north of Keap Street.
By the way the nice photo in the upper right is by Fabian who has taken some nice shots of Williamsburg. His blog is at: