20 September 2012

Why am I not shocked?

I took this picture early last week.

Three-day old pile of trash on the sidewalk

I walked by this pile of trash two days in a row before I had to stop and take a picture of it on the third morning on the way to work.

Same pile.

Sitting there for three days.

Getting bigger and bigger.

Stinkier and stinkier.

In a different area of the city, there was one day the trash was picked up (after sitting there for days) when there were so many flies still floating in the air that it was almost like walking through a spider web trying to get past the former trash pile area.

I really don't understand the old-school way of getting trash picked up in the city.

I know New Yorkers think they are the shit and all, but, this is ridiculous.  I think they think it is normal to have trashed bags piled on the side of the road.  It is all over the city - rich areas and poorer areas.

Perhaps they have never heard of trash cans and dumpsters.

I would not want to grab these nasty, rat-invested bags if I was a trash man.  I would demand the city to find some way to get bins or dumpsters or something that is more conducive to cleanliness.

In Da Lou, if you put your trash can out before sundown the day before they pick it up or leave it out for more than an evening after they pick up your can and empty it into a dumpster, you are cited and may eventually have to pay a fine.

Here, trash on the streets is so common that I was shocked when I came across a piece of sidewalk not ridden with old, hardened, black pieces of used gum.  (I often wonder if they are still pink or white underneath all of the street scum.)  I often wonder what color yellow the subway platforms really would be if they were power washed.

I wonder if those Febreeze commercials with the blindfolded people would work if they sprayed in some of the super stinky (think urine, body odor, funk, stale air, feces, and any other thing that smells really bad) areas of subway walkways and standing areas.  I wish I could just not breathe during my walk from the 2/3 trains to the L at 14th Street.  In the afternoon, I am going to start getting off at Union Square and walking the couple blocks up to the 14th Street entrance for the 2/3 since I will be able to breathe slightly cleaner air in the open.

There are many things I like about NYC, but the trash situation is on my hate list.

Yesterday, I saw an article that said that New York was the dirtiest city in the country.

If you have ever been in NYC three days ahead of trash pickup day, I am not sure why anyone should be shocked.

18 comments:

  1. That's crazy! I've always believed that a city's infrastructure is based on those hard working trash guys, without them, we'd be screwed!

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    1. So true!! I give big props to them for doing the work they do in NYC! So much trash each week.

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  2. It's amazing you haven't gotten use to the trash.......lol, wait till you take a walk at night in certain area's.... the rats are so respectful, they follow each other in a straight line, no bullsh***, this I thought was surprisingly cute but in a nasty kind of way though....just wait a while Princess Ada... you will find yourself not noticing the trash as time goes on nor the smell, the smell will for sure register in your brain as the latest Perfume by Givenche.......lol.... NY life is a beautiful life but hey you have to pay a little price to enjoy the so called NY life style... Enjoy ;-), You are so NY in a good way....live it up.

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    1. I hope I never get used to it... though I am less shocked by the big piles than I was a few years ago the first time I was here.

      If I ever see some rats marching in a line... I don't know what I will do, besides try and photograph it and not get bit by them.

      I guess there is a price to pay for staying here, but I hope to never have to pay real money for something that smells so harsh.

      Thanks for stopping in and I hope you are well!!

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  3. And if the trash men ever go on strike, watch out!

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    1. You just caused me a mini-panic attack thinking of what the streets would look like if they went on strike. I believe they are well paid... if not, they need a raise and even better coverage.

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  4. I always thought it was really weird the way they just throw their garbage on the street and wait for it to be picked up. But I guess with all those gigantic buildings and all, where else is it going to go? Yuk!!!!

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    1. So weird!

      I have thought about other ways for it to be picked up, but with no real back alleys and no one likely to give up a parking space to put a dumpster, I'm not sure what else could happen.

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    1. My thoughts each time I pass bags. I think I walked by at least 4 piles in 3 different neighborhood areas today coming back from work.

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  6. Ugh...You haven't been here yet when there is a garbage strike..Holy hanna! When I lived in Queens, we were not allowed to put the trash on the street until pickup day. Made for a much better situation. The businesses had dumpsters etc. Here on LI you can get a fine if it is out before 5 pm the night before pickup. I had no idea, and my hubby had to tell me when I first dragged out the cans "too early" You had me about New Yorkers thinking they are the shit..so funny...But really that is a hazard. I went up 14th street subway stairs on Sat and had Wilbur running up the stairs with me.ugh ugh ugh.

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    1. The idea of garbage strikes is really scary when there is so much trash when they ARE working!!

      I have only been to LI for a retreat, and didn't see much of the area... must be cleaner than the boroughs.

      14th Street subway is really gross. The Union Square one isn't as bad, but I guess that is because it is on the "better" side of the park.

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  7. Ewwww, as a volunteer in what they call a "third world country" (don´t agree with the term but that´s another story) that is completely common. Trash everywhere, bad trash collecting practices, flies, rats etc being attracted to the piles. Who KNEW it was going down like that in NYC!? That is totally gross and messed up. Good girl from da Lou, you're (near) in Kansas anymore :op

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    1. Glad you can relate. It is crazy to think NYC has commonalities with cities in the more remote parts of the world.

      I am definitely not in Kansas anymore!!

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  8. It's one of my beefs with the city as well. It's truly astonishing, for how much things are taxed, how filthy the city remains. Blerch.
    Some Dark Romantic

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