Post 9/11 New York has seen an increasing level of anxiety inducing measures enforced upon the MTA Subway. From not-so-random bag searches, to machine-gun at the ready soldiers at 34th Street, to the ubiquitous “See Something, Say Something” posters with the disembodied pairs of censuring eyes that haunt you all the way home. Even f you are innocent of wrongdoing…really, when WAS the last time you did your public-transportation based civic duty and reported your suspicions about a fellow MTA rider?
Well, I rarely encounter truly shady seeming folks on the subway, but I sure as hell see some wackiness on the streets of New York City, not the least of which are pressurized Nitrogen canisters on major thoroughfares like 34th Street and Park Avenue as you see here. I took pictures like these over the course of 4 separate days, each time, noting that nothing is being said aboput this thing that we can all clearly, SEE. In the photo below you can see where the nitrogen leak presents as a white frost on the exterior of these 5ft tall canisters.
Here is a pic of a pedestrian walking calmly by…
Somebody tell me again…why is this okay? How could it possibly be safe and why is no one saying anything?
Someone like this this Traffic Cop, he might be the best possible person to report such a public hazard…
Or maybe, Panopticon spying on fellow citizens using our preconceived notions and biases is fruitless. How about we hold authorities accountable instead of turning in other civilians.
As of November, these canisters were removed with little fanfare. The Gothamist reported in 2008 that these canisters were harmless under most any possible NYC experience. I don’t know how deeply I believe it, but I am willing to believe that most of what any frazzled, almost broke, time-constrained New Yorker could dish out would increase the danger potential of these canisters. Doesn’t it then stand to logic that the See Something, Say Something Campaign is a ruse at making us feel secure? The 9/11 attacks affected the trains but did not originate there, why make an already mostly unpleasant riding experience rife with social spying and mistrust.