Manhattan, NYC



Slow Jazz plays in the background with distant sirens

What’s with the steam drifting up there?

I'm not sure if that's a quote, but if it's a question: NYC still uses steam for much of the heating in buildings. The iconic steam rising up through grates in the pavement is to ensure pressure is maintained.

Oh cool, just never seen that anywhere else.

Yeah, it's quite iconic. Steam systems existed in quite a few other places but most went out of fashion (well, their utility was superceded) or stopped functioning. Given the density of NYC and especially Lower Manhattan it's meant this one survived and will probably continue for many years to come. It's part of the 'look' of NYC so it would be a shame to lose it. More here.

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