Scaffolding and garbage….two of the New York City hallmarks……and both are pretty amazing!!
Scaffolding is EVERYWHERE! We walk under it daily on almost every block no matter where we go in the city. Apparently, NYC has an ordinance that exteriors of all buildings of six stories or more must be inspected every five years and pass the safety codes. If not, they must be updated….such as replacing loose brick, tightening balcony ironwork, repairing window ledges, etc. Our own apartment building is now in the midst of this process, and there are cables dangling outside our windows. We see the workers lower themselves on carts (like window washers) in the late afternoon as they glide down to ground level. Across the street near the roof of an apartment building about 18-20 stories are 8-10 men daily drilling and hammering and chiseling out old mortar and brick. They are up so high and often climbing around on the scaffolding (see photo)…..I have to turn my head as it is much too scary to watch. Sometimes the workers are tethered and at other times they do not appear to be.
We have walked under scaffolding at Bloomingdales, the Met, apartment buildings, and offices. It is a thriving industry, and Den said that having an investment in the scaffolding market has to be a gold mine.
Like scaffolding, garbage is everywhere on sidewalks in piles of black plastic bags. It appears that offices, restaurants and businesses bag their trash/garbage daily and put it out for city pickup. Here are a couple of photos beside the Trump World Tower that is just a couple blocks from our home.
Occasionally there may be only a few bags but often it is a huge mound. As for the streets and sidewalks themselves, NY seems to be very clean. We do not see scraps of trash lying around….or at least not more than one would expect in this huge metropolis. Dog owners almost always seem to pick up after their pets. There are trash cans everywhere. Often in the mornings we will see doormen at apartment buildings or shop owners on the streets outside of their buildings with hoses washing off the sidewalks in front of their establishments.
We, and everyone else, seem to walk everywhere for daily errands, restaurants, and just for a stroll. It is a challenge to avoid obstacles, however, and one must stay alert…..no multi tasking. The sidewalks have an amazing amount of greenery and there are trees planted in tree wells on most blocks….easy to trip into if one is not watching. The sidewalks also contain various types of iron grates, sometimes along a side, or these can be right down the middle. They are ok for flat shoes but treacherous if one is wearing heels. Also, the sidewalks often have metal doors that open upward to facilitate deliveries to the basements of businesses….kind of like the tornado shelter in Kansas in the Wizard of Oz. These doors are often open and sometimes have orange cones or roping around them but not always… one could easily step into the abyss if not careful. Delivery people are everywhere at all times….they say that you can get anything and everything delivered to your apartment and that this is one of the joys of living in the city. We see delivery guys on bicycles daily, usually with a sack of some type of ethnic food in their arms or baskets. They are fearless and dart in and out of traffic. Other delivery people are pushing dollies, often for a block or two…another hazard to watch out for. We have learned to be observant and be careful. We don’t think we will ever master the art of texting and walking in New York at the same time!