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The Avenue of the Americas! One of the most important streets in New York.
Over there is the famous Radio City Music Hall.
And over there are two canisters of liquid nitrogen, sitting entirely undefended on the street.
And yes, that sounds a little bit odd
There are plenty of folks walking by and wondering "should those be there?"
And, plenty more folks walking by and not noticing them at all.
So it seems strange, and I looked it up
And it turns out, they belong to one of the phone companies
See there's a lot of steam, and water, underground in New York
From municipal heating systems, and water pipes, and all sorts of things
And those phone wires can get very very wet and, well, fall apart
Every three days, someone from the phone company comes around here,
replaces those canisters of liquid nitrogen with new ones,
and that nitrogen is constantly vented through the tunnels that contain the phone wires
in order to keep them dry, and away from oxygen and moistness.
The coldness is just a side-effect of how you need to store that much nitrogen.
And, well, it seems unsafe, doesn't it?
But, I looked it up, and there have apparently never been any incidents with it,
and in the event that one of the many, many vehicles on this busy, busy road crashes into them,
apparently it'd just cause a little bit of venting and outgassing.
It seems strange, but there are many things in every city that seem strange,
and liquid nitrogen on the streets is one of the minor ones.
Welcome to New York.
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