12/12/13 11:00am

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Ubiquitous articles of street furniture such as fireboxes and manhole covers endlessly fascinate me. Fire hydrants and mail boxes are so common that most don’t even notice them, whereas I have been known to literally send a congratulatory email to City Planning when a comely new design of street bench appears in Queens.

Something I’ve always been curious about, and I mean since I was a kid, is what might be going on inside those “N.Y.C. Drinking Water Sampling Stations” which you generally don’t notice that are found on certain streets in nearly every neighborhood. The one pictured above is located on 39th street, just south of Skillman Avenue at the border of Sunnyside.

From nyc.gov:

Water for the system is impounded in three upstate reservoir systems which include 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes with a total storage capacity of approximately 580 billion gallons. The three water collection systems were designed and built with various interconnections to increase flexibility by permitting exchange of water from one to another. This feature mitigates localized droughts and takes advantage of excess water in any of the three watersheds.

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10/31/12 12:00pm

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Image source: WNYC

Two places that got hit particularly hard during Hurricane Sandy were LIC and the Rockaways. Breezy Point was particularly hard hit (it is located on the west side of the Rockaway peninsula, and the western tip is known for its excellent birdwatching oportunities) with water and wind and fires. This morning, one woman we met from Sunnyside said that her parents’ house down there was not destroyed by fire (the fire stopped about 100 feet away from the house) but that the house was moved off its foundation by the water and wind.

It’s a heartbreaking scene down there. 111 homes burned to the ground, according to CBS. This image below is incredible – click to enlarge.

This aerial photo shows burned-out homes in the Breezy Point section of the Queens borough New York after a fire on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. The tiny beachfront neighborhood told to evacuate before Sandy hit New York burned down as it was inundated by floodwaters, transforming a quaint corner of the Rockaways into a smoke-filled debris field. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

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