Thursday, June 09, 2011

Beat the Heat

Summer has arrived. Not the kind of summer that prompts open windows and evening iced tea on the patio, I mean the kind of summer that hits you like a sauna when you walk out the door and forces evening showers just so you can sleep.

Showers would be nice, of course, if there was water pressure in the apartment building...

With temperatures at or above 90 degrees all week I've learned about a new Bronx solution to the heat wave: a johnny pump. Of course! Why didn't I think to uncap the fire hydrant in front of the building sending more than 1,000 gallons of emergency - fighting resource spraying into the street? Oh, because it's illegal.

Where I come from the opening of a fire hydrant, under the careful supervision of the local fire department, can be requested for block parties. In the Bronx, you do it yourself and have your own apartment party every day.

According to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, "Opening a hydrant without a spray cap lowers water pressure and can hinder firefighting by reducing the flow of water to hoses and pumps. The reduction of water pressure resulting from illegally opened hydrants can also cause problems at hospitals and other medical facilities." It turns out the city takes this seriously, "Opening a hydrant illegally can result in fines of up to $1,000, imprisonment for up to 30 days or both." I wonder if anyone has gone to prison for this. I imagine they don't get much street credibility for this crime. Just look at how popular they are with the children:

And bus drivers,
And delivery trucks.
I, like this poor guy, am not a huge fan of testing my long jump every time I want to cross the street.

To be honest, I don't blame my neighbors at all though. If we hadn't received a generous window AC unit donation last winter I would probably be putting on my bathing suit to join them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lookslike fun to me. Just pray there are no fires in the neighborhood. I think you should join in just for the fun of it. Also a free car wash for those parked by so it's double duty.

I remember a block party here where the entire street, adults included, were all in the shower of the hydrant:)