Monday, August 31, 2009

Fire escape garden, SoHo

A real fire escape, this time...


  1. It's a building violation and a fire hazard to block escape routes with plants.

    How will you feel promoting this behavior when someone dies as a consequence?

  2. Anonymous, you brave soul, final warning. Leave a name or be booted off.

    And lighten up.

    I believe I pre-empted your concerns in a previous post.

  3. what a fun shot! i love the interior wall colors, too, behind the illicit fire escape plantings.

  4. *g* Yes, that's a real fire escape this time! I love the architectural details (what are those things called? lintels?)...and the plants are so nice and green against the brick. That one vine (sweet potato?) looks like it's trying to get to the roof before summer's end.

  5. How about adding fire escape to your list of new apartment requirements?

  6. I agree with anonymous. It is a code violation.

    On the other hand, isn't it so very human to do just what we are told not to in order to satisfy our needs?

    Imagine all the things I would not do if I worried that someone might die as a result. I would never drive again, at least I know that much.

    What I love about this photo is the light. And the curving fire escape railing. Makes me wish there was a code to have building-side iron balconies so people could plant without worrying about the next fire. Wouldn't that be a beautiful expression of governmental authority. Black iron balconies for everyone!


  7. Donna - very patriotic colours, yes.

    Paula - Lintels, yes...pretty

    Frank - I know its a code violation, but must one always list the Bleeding Obvious? I object to the death and destruction tone and also to a nameless comment.


  8. One can hardly say that this fire escape is blocked. It appears that the gardener has left a fairly open pathway on each staircase, while still beautifying what is so often an eyesore. In large cities where garden space is nil, it's lovely to see someone take the time to make a space enjoyable, not only themselves but for others, too! One way to overcome breaking this bylaw would be to use hanging planters (as the ones used on gates, etc) on the outsides of the stairwells. They could be filled with mini gardens of herbs or various flowers & trailing plants...very lush but unobstructive to the inner stairwell space...just a thought! I have to question if Anonymous is the kind of person who is an "I can't", instead of a "How can I?"

  9. hmm, well, i wasn't thinking patriotic. i was thinking "definitely not apartment beige".

    the whole photo has so many mundane elements that others have noted, and they work together so well.

  10. I'm almost positive this is in the Lower East Side and NOT Soho.

  11. Hi Anonymoose - since I took the photo and know the address on Sullivan Street, I am quite certain it is SoHo :-)

    A lot old buildings, especially taken out of context by zooming-in, can look similar.


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