I believe it was two years ago that a giant steam pipe exploded in midtown Manhattan and convinced me for a few hours that I was living through my first New York terrorist attack. Turned out that the pipe was something like a hundred years old and no longer capable of holding in the tons of pressure it had been containing for years. Here’s the sitch (Dad, that’s short for situation), New York runs on a steam grid. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t know what that means either. What I do know, is that steam powers a lot here. Yep. For someone who grew up with central heating and air, it came as a shock to me when I moved into my first New York apartment, that the prices of water and heat come included in rent. I know! But let’s get back to the steam grid. There’s a certain day each winter when, magically, the heat returns. The day those steam pipes start to hiss you KNOW it’s time to break out the down jacket. It’s sort of romantic when you think about it, an entire city receiving heat at the same time. Well I mean, except for those people with fancy condos and the ability to control their own heat… I love my radiator, now that I know how to turn it on. Not only does it make me feel all vintagey, the old metal, the popping and squeeling sounds, it’s also EXTREMEMLY hot. I’m not joking around. Have you ever leaned up against a hot steam pole? It’s not fun. As I mentioned before, I realized half way through this winter that I’d had my radiator closed (see: no steam) and that I’d been relying on what heat was pouring into my living room to heat my bedroom. Finally I took time to investigate and realized how easy it is to “open” my radiator (turn nob in direction of “open” and voila, that familiar sound of steam flowing through pipes. Genius!) So, now that I have my radiator blasting, I’ve realized how dry this thing can make a room. I’ve woken up numerous nights convinced I’d never be able to swallow again. My sinuses suffer every morning and my skin, well, thank god for Eucerin. But, ya know what, I still love the damn thing. Let’s face it, exploding pipes and all, the steam grid in New York is sort of like God, it connects us all y’all and keeps us warm, even on the coldest of days.