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Pothole 311 | by GammaBlog
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Pothole 311

I've been noticing hard bangs vibrating through my apartment building for the past hour. It's not that unusual for this building to shake from heavy truck passage. Looking out the window, a pothole is forming, no wonder from all the salt they've been putting on Houston Street lately. An early evil thought was set up my camera, this constant parade of flats would be a great Youtube video."


But instead my inner adult called 311, the system NYC uses to drain the strain from the 911 emergency system. First you listen to a heat complaint message that tells you to push 1 to make a heat complaint or wait for an operator. An operator comes on, I report the location and severity of the pothole, and suggest that at least an orange cone is needed, fast. The operator then asked me if I want to report a pothole, a bit stunned, I reply yes. She then proceeds to mumble in monotone some script that goes on and on, and at indeterminate points require some sort of answer from me. I determine that she is reciting some obscure legal definitions that distinguishes types of potholes. A few increasingly incredulous questions from me later, she asks me if I want to talk to an expert at the department of transportation. I ask if this is what I need to do to report a pothole. She says yes. Shortly, I am able to talk to someone off-script who knows what a pothole is. He also seemed to understand the concepts of location and and severity. But It's been about a half hour, the cars are still slamming into the pothole. No accidents yet, but I've heard several tires hissing tales of upcoming flats.


Update: After writing the above, I got out of my flannel pjs and dressed for the outdoors. A bunch of orange cones are on the street reserving parking for some damn film shoot tomorrow. I took one of them and put it next to the hole. I had to document of course. Angel Orensanz , out for a stoll noticed my flash. I told him a shortened version of my 311 tale, he asked me if this was my work of art. No, I explained, it is a pothole. As he walked away I said, "art as well."


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Taken on February 26, 2007