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June 26, 2008

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Laleh

Funny you say that about NYC. I always thought the reason I loved it so much was because it was the most Third World-ish city in the whole of the industrialised world.

belle waring

true, Laleh, but Singapore is the most first-worldish city in the first world. there's dudes manicuring the flowers and shade trees planted along the highway even as we speak. and potholes, I don't think I've even seen one in Singapore...

The Modesto Kid

Welcome to the Northeast! Be sure to check out David Byrne's new installation while you're in town.

cmholm

When a major piece of civil engineering is built, it's expected to be used for a century or more. How much more depends on the quality of the maintenance.

As the quantity of massive public structures increases, the degree of cleanliness of any one piece depends on budgeting priorities and governmental efficiency. There's a lot of gray between a freshly laid street and a path of rubble.

The Greater New York area has been industrialized since prior to the Civil War, which means there's a lot of old - but functional - stuff in use.

To tear down something that isn't broken is considered an immense waste of resources.

hedgie

I'll take sooty and graffitti-covered over sparkly and unmarked anyday. Does seem like we could do a better job of making sure they don't fall down, though.

jholbo

Hi sweetie. Kiss the girls for me.

jholbo

I would also like to note that I read about this post first at Matthew Yglesias' site (hey, I figured Belle was probably too busy to update the blog, so I didn't check here first.)

There is something very 2.0 about learning about my own daughters' comments, yesterday, about dirty bridges, in the venerable "Atlantic Monthly".

(In my defense: the VERY first thing I did was fire up iChat to see if Belle was on. But she wasn't. I don't love liberal policy wonkery more than my own family, as a rule.)

JRoth

Old metal that's just black with soot!

To be clear: it's painted black. All ferrous metal that you see out in the world is painted (unless it's Cor-Ten, the stuff that forms a protective layer of rust by design, which your daughters would surely object to when, say, Richard Serra uses it). Now, it's true that it's likely painted black partly to disguise its sootiness, but still. And Standpipe is right to point out that it's an utterly beautiful bridge.

Also: Of course there are no potholes in Singapore. There are no potholes in Miami, either - potholes are a freeze/thaw phenomenon which is effectively impossible in tropical climates. You'll also note that there are no potholes inside buildings.

Anyway, all that bluster aside, you're right: American infrastructure is in pitiful shape, and it's absurd that every recession doesn't come with a $100B highway repair program.

Russell L. Carter

H&M?

Doug

"H&M?"

Hovercrafte & Manticores, every "it" blogger's first stop in NYC.

Ralph Kramden

You want clean? Salt Lake City is very clean. Not as interesting as NYC, though. You want smoked fish for brunch? Try Barney Greengrass, the Sturgeon King.

bill benzon

FWIW, when you came down ramp heading into the Holland Tunnel, this dude was on the ground to your right, and this dude was on the ground to your left.

matt

I should volunteer to take your kids to the children's zoo. I love the zoo! (and something tells me it's all happening there, too...) And go to the Neue Galerie- it's the perfect size for a museum (you can look at everything and not get worn out), you'd probably love the bauhaus design section, and the apple strudel is to die for. I guess the special exhibition now is "Wiener Werkst├Ątte Jewelry". I can imagine you getting next to that, too.

logwoman

After ten years of living in Singapore, I can attest to how difficult it is to re-adjust to living in the USA again. Not just the coffee and infrastructure. What about the automatic flushing public toilets and the aunties who clean your table at a food court? Took a while to remember that I had to that myself. LOL. After five years back, I still miss Singapore, quirks and all. I never imaged I would. Enjoy your home leave.

ajay

Of course there are no potholes in Singapore. There are no potholes in Miami, either - potholes are a freeze/thaw phenomenon which is effectively impossible in tropical climates.

There are potholes in Vietnam. Big ones. I don't think this is a result of the bitter Vietnamese winter. Some of the roads in Laos are essentially all pothole.

The New York City Math Teacher

Storks Bakery, Whitestone, New York.

German bakery of the old school - awesome.

JPool

Come to Minneapolis! Our aging bridge has already collapsed, and the remaining ones are clean ... not Singapore clean, but, you know.

The Modesto Kid

There are potholes in Vietnam

Jamaica, also.

The Modesto Kid

(Oh no! italics!)

Older

I visited New York City in 1952, as a kid, and it looked terrible to me then. So much of the city was broken! Pictures inform me that it looks worse now. That said, I do understand how it happens. I now live in a small city which prides itself on its nice looking and uniquely artistic civic furniture. But we're way better at putting that stuff in than at maintaining it. An example: Decorative street corner crossings made of snazzy concrete bricks embossed with locally significant images are now in need of repair, and are being patched with blacktop. Looks awful. City fathers want us to give them an urban renewal district; they promise to take good care of it. Yeah, right.

Older

I visited New York City in 1952, as a kid, and it looked terrible to me then. So much of the city was broken! Pictures inform me that it looks worse now. That said, I do understand how it happens. I now live in a small city which prides itself on its nice looking and uniquely artistic civic furniture. But we're way better at putting that stuff in than at maintaining it. An example: Decorative street corner crossings made of snazzy concrete bricks embossed with locally significant images are now in need of repair, and are being patched with blacktop. Looks awful. City fathers want us to give them an urban renewal district; they promise to take good care of it. Yeah, right.

Older

I visited New York City in 1952, as a kid, and it looked terrible to me then. So much of the city was broken! Pictures inform me that it looks worse now. That said, I do understand how it happens. I now live in a small city which prides itself on its nice looking and uniquely artistic civic furniture. But we're way better at putting that stuff in than at maintaining it. An example: Decorative street corner crossings made of snazzy concrete bricks embossed with locally significant images are now in need of repair, and are being patched with blacktop. Looks awful. City fathers want us to give them an urban renewal district; they promise to take good care of it. Yeah, right.

Kate

I guess all those potholes in the roads here in Perth, Australia, (where the minimum temp record was a balmy 1 degree celsius) are actually just optical illusions.

Bloix

I truly love the Pulaski Skyway. It's one of the most elegant steel structures I've ever seen, and I used to drive over it or see it from the PATH train every working day. Steel construction requires smooth curving lines and lacy openwork in order to distribute stresses - more modern reinforced concrete highway bridges are right-angled between piers and roadbed and have no grace at all. The Skyway is a gem - I hope it lasts forever.

David in NY

American Girl! Oh noes!

David in NY

But if you've got kids and are going to the Met, try the armor, just down from the medieval statuary and glass & stuff. Works with boys, don't know about girls.

wide beam canal boats

Thanks to good read.And thanks for sharing your experience with us!

teklebrhan gebrehans

i wonder you

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