News You Can Use: The Man Hole Report

As many of you have undoubtedly noticed, I have been quite intrigued about the disappearance of public property hereabouts lately. This is not mere idle curiosity either; when walking down the sidewalk I’d like to have some semblance of assurance that there is, in fact, something upon which to walk. I am not alone in harboring this sentiment. Jay (who forwarded me the photo to the left) writes (in an email charming entitled “another hole”):

Here’s another case of a missing metal plate on mcguinness near driggs. I’m sending another photo of a missing plaque in Father Studzinski Sq at the same intersection.

And sure enough, he did. But still, I could not get this image off my mind.

Exactly how many such covers have been commandeered so as to be “repurposed” by our local scrap metal establishments?

I asked to myself. Well, gentle readers, yesterday morning I found out! I walked from one end of McGuinness Boulevard to the other in search of plundered holes. And find them I did!

Upon heading out on my mission I bumped into my friend Chris at The G Spot. He too had noticed that these sidewalk/street covers have been disappearing at an alarming rate. So much so, he could not recall what they looked like anymore. I vowed to find out and, fortuitously enough, at the beginning of my survey (and at a location I will not disclose) I found one!

As you can see it reads “WSNY”. This means “Water State of New York”. In other words, it is state property. Or soon to be was. Now on with the show!

McGuinness Boulevard, west side, between Ash and Box Street

McGuinness Boulevard, west side, between Clay and Box Street

Some kind of canister has been used to close the hole. Resourceful!

McGuinness Boulevard, west side, between Dupont and Clay Street

Here a more customized solution has been found. As it would happen, I had the pleasure of meeting the chap responsible for this. He told me this is the second time he has had this plate stolen, he has called 311 to no avail (“they don’t care”) and he asserted quite stridently that he knew the man responsible for both thefts. He is allegedly a resident of the 3/4 house on Clay Street. Good times!

McGuinness Boulevard, west side, between Dupont and Eagle Street

Here we encounter our first (but hardly last) novel use of a traffic cone. Note how it has been pressed into service as a trash receptacle. Genius!

McGuinness Boulevard, west side, between Eagle and Freeman Street

Another block, another hole. Beginning to discern a pattern here?

McGuinness Boulevard, west side, between Huron and India Street

Someone has been very busy!

McGuinness Boulevard, east side, between India and Java Street

McGuinness Boulevard, west side, between Kent Street and Greenpoint Avenue

And then as I crossed Greenpoint Avenue the thievery stopped. I have a theory about this which I would like to posit here. Aside from proximity to the Greenpoint “Hotel” and 3/4 house, I observed that north of Greenpoint Avenue these plates were invariably to be found adjacent to fire hydrants. On the south side of Greenpoint Avenue this is not the case. Thus, I would posit that the reason the plates are intact “down south” is because they are not as easy to locate.

McGuinness Boulevard, west side, at Bayard Street

For the most part.

So how many missing covers did I find along our community’s solution to the Champs-Élysées, gentle readers? The grand total (including Jay’s find) comes out to ten. It should be noted that I later found three ones MIA in Williamsburg. In closing I will leave you with an interesting, if unrelated, discovery from my investigation (as spotted at Nassau Avenue).

It would appear that someone is a Jack Daniels fan.




5 Comments on News You Can Use: The Man Hole Report

  1. eagle_teater on Thu, 3rd Nov 2011 3:25 pm
  2. Take cruise on Comm Ave from Franklin to Manhattan. You can add to your collection.

  3. Peter on Thu, 3rd Nov 2011 3:34 pm
  4. A veritable festival of toes!

  5. missheather on Thu, 3rd Nov 2011 4:24 pm
  6. Will do. Thanks for the tip!

  7. rutila on Fri, 4th Nov 2011 7:29 am
  8. Miss H, you should start charging the foot fetishists for your services.

  9. missheather on Fri, 4th Nov 2011 8:07 am
  10. I’m thinking more along the lines of a calendar.

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