Boilers and Billboards

I’ve been kicking around in my basement, trying to take photos of the boiler and it’s plumbing and machinery (I have a fondness for old and failing infrastructure). It’s led to me noticing the number of temporary boilers on the streets around here. When a boiler (always located in the basement, and for the purpose of heating the building above it) fails, Noo Yoik bring in a temporary truck, park it on the street, plumb it in, and then get on with other things.

Most of these are in Greenwich Village, and as far as I can recall they’ve all been in place the whole time I’ve been here.

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This one’s outside my uni. Heating my uni. Apparently since the flood in January…

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This is the oil being delivered to the boiler in my basement. The driver double parked (there’s an awful lot of double parking in Noo Yoik, I doubt they call it that though, I think it’s just ‘stopped’), got out, unscrewed the plug in the sidewalk, then went to the back of his truck to get the hose. He fluffed about for a minute, out of view. A passer by, walking towards me, saw the plug lying on its side on the concrete, bent down, screwed it in, and continued on his way. The delivery guy pulled his hose towards the hole, saw it plugged, swore at full volume, gesticulated broadly, but wished me a good day as I turned to go into my doorway.

My boiler is a fierce looking devil. It’s job is to make lots of steam, which rises up exposed pipes to each floor of my building, and then into the heaters in each apartment, circulates for a while, cools back into water, and runs down the same pipes, continuously. There’s a bit of pressure to sort out, and it doesn’t manage it very well, so hisses and bangs and is generally fussy and complaining. It pours out lots of heat though. I appreciate it enormously. I’m on the first floor, which gets more than the higher ones. I soak it up.

I’m still touring prospective tenants through my apartment, in small bunches, and every few days. I’ve had, by coincidence, a fellow Parsons student (who wants to move out of her dorm; one of her three roommates is a sculptor, and has her stuff stacked to the roof, between the bunks), a Melburnian, (we did the 6 degree thing and found someone we both knew, in Manhattan!), and a lovely man from New Jersey (with 2 dogs, both lovely too. His third had stayed home because its medication’s a bit troublesome right now, poor old sock (he’d said), something to do with arthritis and kidney disease (I got the whole story, that’s the synopsis). I didn’t ask how they would all fit in here, and he didn’t seem at all troubled by the prospect). Yesterday I toured a woman I met at my Thanksgiving dinner, the previous night, who finds her current apartment impossibly cold. She gets up and goes out and stays out until bed time. If that was me I think I’d get up and go to the airport…


This is the garment district, where I went to get last minute supplies for a (third go at a) final project…

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The big button and needle. And the big man at the sewing machine. The info booth hasn’t ever had anyone in it, when I’ve passed, nor any info on it. It’s just an info booth.

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Aisles and aisles of this stuff

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Zippers. All longer than I can fathom a use for, and in serious stock-control blow-out quantities.

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The button department. There are aisles and aisles too.

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Ben’s Restaurant, ‘Kosher Deli Fare’, West 38th Street, ‘We cure our own corn beef, our chicken soup cures everything else’. Oh, good.

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The garment district is also Times Square, really, and Broadway, so there are a lot of lights and a lot of people…

This is walking along Seventh Ave, from 42nd to 43rd Streets.

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Also a lot of billboards. People watch billboards.

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And take photos of themselves with the billboards.

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The queue inside a Times Square carpark, waiting for attendants to retrieve their cars, which, by the look of it, are parked behind other cars…


Yesterday was Black Friday. I presumed it was called that in memory of a sombre event, but learned eventually that it is a shopping day. The day after Thanksgiving all the big retailers have sales. A bit like a Boxing Day Sale. Very much like a Boxing Day Sale. It’s Black Friday because it puts the retailers into the black. Yay America.


It was sunny for a little while today (as well as snowed a bit, but I am being laughed at by locals for overstating the snow thing, so must curb my descriptions).

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But at 4pm it’s nearly dark (it will be by 4:30), is zero degrees, and this truck has just pulled up out the front;

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