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Monday, September 11, 2006

It was on a Tuesday...

This is the view looking south from my office. New York is famous for the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and Wall Street. But there is a silent, unassuming symbol that, to me, represents this city more than any other. While other cities have tall buildings, statues, and famous streets, only New York has my loved wooden water tanks. It is possible here because ingenious civil engineers of the late 19th century built an aqueduct that works almost entirely on gravity. The city's water supply comes downhill for hundreds of miles and reaches, unaided, to the sixth floor of any building in Manhattan Island (water seeking its own level), after the sixth floor a little help is needed. That is where the tanks come in – it is much easier to slowly pump a little water up a small pipe and store it on the roof, than to pump water for the entire building. When the water is pumped up to the roof it stays there, stored in these hushed water tanks until gravity takes over again and down comes the water. If you look to the left of the picture you’ll see a building with a triangular top. It was behind that building that until a Tuesday in September five years ago two tall towers stood. It was on a Tuesday, and no matter what anyone says, this city has never been the same. I don’t know for sure, but I’d bet even those towers had water tanks hidden on the roof.

Photo taken July 7, 2006 Posted by Picasa

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