July 3rd, 2012

New York's Roosevelt Island is home to a large-scale Swedish-built pneumatic garbage disposal system. The company that maintains the Roosevelt Island system is also responsible for running a similar system at Disney World:

[Repairman Frederik Olsson], a tall blond man in work boots and loose overalls, coughed politely. "Magic Kingdom can be problematic," he said. "I visit it often. It usually breaks because so many sticky things run through it. This one usually breaks down because New Yorkers throw too many big things away."

"The machine doesn't break down that much," Marli said. "But, you know, you get a rainy weekend and people clean out their closets. They throw away the weirdest stuff. Stereos, old computers, steel pipes." The unwieldy objects sometimes clog the works. One time, a piece of rebar backed up the machine for several hours. Another time, it was a skillet. Envac workers have also recovered geometry textbooks, tape players, window frames, lumber, and old clothes. On a third-floor window ledge, there is an array of houseplants in industrial buckets, rescued from the trash.

Let's face it, if your apartment building contained a central garbage disposal chute that emptied periodically by sucking the waste away at 60mph, would you be particularly choosy about what you were dropping down the chute? Or would you be calling 'Bombs away!' as you tried to time the drop to coincide with the trapdoor opening?

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26.2 Miles, 1 Artist

November 8th, 2011

Christoph Niemann: My attempt at live-illustrating the New York City Marathon.

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May 25th, 2011

New York at Night.

[Via Curved White]

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No trampolines involved

May 1st, 2010

Dancers Among Us collects images of professional dancers around and about in New York.

Some really nice work. Thanks to the method used to present the images it's impractical for me to link to my favourite pictures, but take it from me: the entire collection is well worth a look.

[Via kottke.org]

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The Lost Tribes of NYC

April 5th, 2009

The Lost Tribes of New York City. A simple idea,1 beautifully implemented.

Be sure to stick around for the post-credits scene.

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  1. Albeit one that owes a good deal to Nick Park.

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