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New York Gothic

2010 December 26

Almost as iconic to New York City as yellow taxis and traffic jams, these orange and white striped chimneys pepper Manhattan’s streets, mostly in Midtown. But why? Even most New Yorkers don’t know that conEdison maintains an elaborate steam delivery service. Buildings use this steam to provide heat, hot water, and even air conditioning. Though sometimes the steam in the streets comes from leaks, most of the time it comes from water runoff making contact with hot pipes. conEd places these chimneys wherever steam is coming out of manholes, to prevent injuries and to maintain visibility for drivers.

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