David Letterman and steam pipes

Just past Times Square, you come to the Ed Sullivan Theater. If you walk here around lunchtime, you'll normally see a long line of people wanting to get a ticket for the 'Late Show' of David Letterman - a daily talk show on one of the American TV channels.

Watch out if you pass by when the show is being recorded, as David has a few "secret cameras" installed outside his theater and he sometimes talks to passers-by from his studio. Don't be surprised if somebody is suddenly shouting at you from some unknown speakers somewhere!


It was right here by the theater that I came across one of those steam pipes sticking up from the ground in the middle of the street. What are those doing?

I think that they are opened to vent the steam vapor out if there happens to be a leak or similar in the pipes which run right underneath you in the streets, transporting a.o. steam around town to heat the high rise buildings. Actually an amazing system, but it can also be dangerous! One day some 7 years ago or so, one of these pipes exploded and created a huge hole in the middle of the street. The explosion caused many hundreds of windows to blow out from the surrounding office buildings. One van fell into the hole and the bang started a large fire and a lot of panic.  All this right outside our office windows.

Luckily, only few were hurt but this explosion created a panic in people as they did not know what was going on. As it happened right next to Central Station and a lot of fine dust was flying around in the air, most were immediately thinking of the 9/11 event. New Yorkers get on with their lives and are resilient, but they do not forget.