Middle-Aged Cities

NYC’s steam pipe explosion this week warns us not to exceptionalize the failures of the levees in New Orleans in 2005. 

I always attributed the free heat common in NYC apartments to the giant steam god living above the city.  It turns out, she’s more of an Underworld Goddess:

“In New York, home to the largest steam system in the world, steam is pumped through more than 100 miles of mains and service pipes to customers such as the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center. It is also widely used by dry cleaners and hospitals”

…and tenants who don’t know how to adjust their radiators so it is not 85 degrees indoors year-round.

Good to see also that Boston’s Czar can keep an eye on our own steam repairs between his endless media appearances. 


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