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NYC Sanitation Department Demolition Derby - Blizzard 2010 Edition
December 28, 2010 9:41 AM   Subscribe

NYC's Dumbest: NYC Sanitation Workers Destroy A Ford Explorer [NSFW language].

NYC Sanitation Department At Work:
"A vigilant Brooklyn Heights man picked-up his video camera early Monday and uploaded onto YouTube a jaw-dropping clip totaling just over four minutes of crinkling metal and concaving bodywork that would make a detailer's stomach churn. The footage reveals a white Ford Explorer and two other sedans parked on Joralemon Street near Hicks Street that became a demolition derby victims after a Sanitation tow truck attempted to haul a hulking orange front end loader for several hours since around 6 a.m."
posted by ericb (187 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 


That'll buff out.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:47 AM on December 28, 2010 [16 favorites]


"No one is leaving here until I get a police report!"
posted by hippybear at 9:49 AM on December 28, 2010


best you tube comment: "nice panties seinfeld...."
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:51 AM on December 28, 2010


Also disturbing is the fact that the camera man appears to be naked.
posted by greatgefilte at 9:52 AM on December 28, 2010


If that's destroyed, then the car I'm driving now is destroyed.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:53 AM on December 28, 2010 [15 favorites]


BTW -- this ABC News clip version is SFW.
posted by ericb at 9:53 AM on December 28, 2010


I liked the part where he said fuck.
posted by special-k at 9:53 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Contrast to how Newark handled the storm.

Gotta hand it to Cory Booker. The world needs more guys like him.
posted by schmod at 9:54 AM on December 28, 2010 [24 favorites]


From the NYDN link, "New Yorkers grumbled over massive mass transit delays and unpaved streets"...

Not only did they bang up a car, THEY PULLED PAVEMENT OFF OF THE STREETS!
posted by rmd1023 at 9:55 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


"'The crazy thing here....the vehicle WAS....wait for it....A NYC Dept of Buildings city owned vehicle. I went down, I know the owner, they are aware of the video and no police ever came,' the video's poster said."*
posted by ericb at 9:56 AM on December 28, 2010


I'll never understand why winter comes as a surprise every year.
posted by DU at 9:56 AM on December 28, 2010 [24 favorites]


Aw, man. I was expecting more carnage and explosions.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:57 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


mumble, mumble, "snow emergency" mumble, mumble, "all vehicles off the roads" mumble, mumble, "not responsible" mumble, mumble "city ordinance" mumble, mumble,
posted by Thorzdad at 9:57 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I liked the part where it pans to his fat ass in boxers and he proclaims "what geniuses!" Like clearly he is talking down to them.
posted by phaedon at 9:58 AM on December 28, 2010


Not only did they bang up a car, THEY PULLED PAVEMENT OFF OF THE STREETS!

Look, it's easy for you to judge, but you don't live here; you have no idea how terrifying it is to walk outside every day to see Stephen Malkmus jeering at you.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:58 AM on December 28, 2010 [34 favorites]


It's fascinating how this person gets so emotional over a car being (barely) damaged. I guess pain is relative.
posted by Surfurrus at 9:59 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Should I be wondering why a guy wearing nothing but underpants just happened to have his video camera pointed out the window?

'Cause, um...
posted by Sys Rq at 10:00 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's funny because it's not my car.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:01 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


The only rational explanation I can think of is that parking is allowed only on one side of the street.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:01 AM on December 28, 2010


It's fascinating how this person gets so emotional over a car being (barely) damaged. I guess pain is relative.

Obviously you don't own a car, or have never needed to take your car in to the body shop, and have no idea how much car repairs cost.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:03 AM on December 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


big city dwellers sense of entitlement is teh funny.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:04 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


What this really needed to achieve immortality was a red letter media dead girl in the corner.
posted by phaedon at 10:05 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Found on a reddit thread about this, the aftermath.
posted by Nomiconic at 10:05 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Should I be wondering why a guy wearing nothing but underpants just happened to have his video camera pointed out the window?

Having grown up with my windows being no further than five feet from my neighbors', the underpants thing is just de rigueur housewear. Seriously, I have never lived around anyone who didn't waltz around the place in their boxers.

...and neither did they...
posted by griphus at 10:10 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maybe I'm dumb too, but I barely even understand what's happening here. It looks like the tow truck is stuck in snow and is just trying to drive down the street, spinning its tires, with that huge plow behind it, which also appears to be spinning its tires? What is the driver supposed to do instead (short of getting out and waiting for a tow truck - er, nevermind)?
posted by naju at 10:10 AM on December 28, 2010


THEY PULLED PAVEMENT OFF OF THE STREETS!

Don't even get me started. Do you know how long it takes to collect and put down that much gold?
posted by griphus at 10:10 AM on December 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


big city dwellers sense of entitlement is teh funny.

What, to expect to not have your property severely damaged by city employees? Yeah, we're pretty fucking entitled. I'm glad folks out in the country wouldn't blink an eye if they sustained thousands of dollars in damage to things they owned.
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:11 AM on December 28, 2010 [40 favorites]


"nice panties seinfeld...."
...
the camera man appears to be naked.
...
I liked the part where it pans to his fat ass in boxers
...
Should I be wondering why a guy wearing nothing but underpants just happened to have his video camera pointed out the window?


Do you guys not walk around naked in your homes? When I'm in my apartment, I wear as little clothing as possible. Probably a third of my comments on mefi have been typed with the boys swingin' round like a coupla drunk square-dancers.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:12 AM on December 28, 2010 [34 favorites]


"Barely damaged?" Ripped the bumper off, at least.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:14 AM on December 28, 2010


Greg Nog: you have no idea how terrifying it is to walk outside every day to see Stephen Malkmus jeering at you.

Man, Malkmus walks all the way over from Portland every day? That guy must *hate* everybody in that neighborhood.


Oh, wait... it's a Pavement joke, not a hipster joke. Never mind.
posted by el_lupino at 10:15 AM on December 28, 2010


Let me get this straight, these guys destroyed a SUV?

Well, it's a start.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:15 AM on December 28, 2010 [8 favorites]


Found on a reddit thread about this, the aftermath.

The brooklynheightsblog.com server is getting hammered, it seems. Here's the key image.
posted by knave at 10:17 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


What is the driver supposed to do instead (short of getting out and waiting for a tow truck - er, nevermind)?

As the annoying camera-wielder suggested, they could have lifted the front loader up where it sat (using its own bucket), and put chains on the front tires.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:17 AM on December 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Do you guys not walk around naked in your homes?

In late December? With the window open? While recording video that I plan to post, unedited, to YouTube?

Nope. Can't say that I do.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:17 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


So one day a few years ago, I've just visited the hardware store and am unlocking my bike, in the parking lot. I observe as a car starts backing out of an angled space on the other side of the lot. The driver is way too far over to one side, and scrapes the shit out of the neighboring car—there's enough force that both cars are visibly riding up on their suspension. Even once it's obvious that he's jammed up against the other car, he keeps trying to force his way out. After he backs out, he sits there for a few seconds as if to admire his handiwork and drives off.

I left a card with my contact info on the windshield of the damaged car and wrote "The license plate of the car that did this to you is [whatever]. I saw the whole thing. Call me if you need someone to testify." A few weeks later, I get a call from the cops and tell them the story.

This was before phones routinely had video cameras.
posted by adamrice at 10:19 AM on December 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's a sign of the times that if it were the 1960s or 1970s the newspaper stories would have found out WHICH workers did the damage and would have found out whether they were fired, reprimanded, or whatnot, and would have gotten an official statement from NYC. On the other hand, this story wouldn't have gotten any traction at all without the jaw-dropping video footage.
posted by crapmatic at 10:20 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


The brooklynheightsblog.com server is getting hammered, it seems.

It'll buff out.
posted by phaedon at 10:20 AM on December 28, 2010 [8 favorites]


"Barely damaged?" Ripped the bumper off, at least.

The back window definitely is gone as well. Safety glass will drop pretty much uniformly and instantaneously into a million little cubes once adequate stress is applied. That's why all the snow falls "off" of it but never makes it to the ground.
posted by rollbiz at 10:21 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


In late December? With the window open? While recording video that I plan to post, unedited, to YouTube?

Nope. Can't say that I do.


*makes W for Whatever sign with fingers, sticks naked dick out onto snowy windowsill for neighbors to admire while smugly sipping Irish coffee"
posted by Greg Nog at 10:23 AM on December 28, 2010 [11 favorites]


"Barely damaged"? What? Between the three vehicles, that is easily a few thousand dollars in damage. Broken windows, ruined paint, body damage, smashed headlights and grill, probably tire and axle damage, and God knows what else. Watch the collision at 1:38 and the next 15 seconds.

Barely damaged, my arse.

Moreover, there's no freaking reason for it. The tow truck driver is just being a colossal asshole (and is quite probably intoxicated on something).
posted by ixohoxi at 10:23 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Correction: after viewing the image that knave linked to, this is clearly a few thousand dollars in damage to the Explorer alone. In four minutes.
posted by ixohoxi at 10:26 AM on December 28, 2010


Wait no anger over a guy all warm an cozy in his 30 million dollar brownstone screams out the window at a couple of working stiffs trying to make sure him and his hedge fund neighbors can make it to work in the mornight? Must be nice to pay 4k in rent and still have enough for a Ford Explorer so you don't have to take the jitney out to the Hamptons every weekend.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:27 AM on December 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


This is why vector calculus should be mandatory in high schools.
posted by cmoj at 10:29 AM on December 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


Oh, goddamit, here we go with the moralizing and idiotic projecting.

Guess what? The guy who made the videotape went to an Ivy League school.

Whadya think of them apples?
posted by ericb at 10:30 AM on December 28, 2010


Ad hom, RTFA. The Explorer belongs to the city. And I don't care about the relative economic classes of the tow truck driver and the cameraman; that doesn't give the driver the right to smash up someone else's property. He can do his job sober and/or competently and/or not like an utter douchebag if he wants any sympathy from me.
posted by ixohoxi at 10:30 AM on December 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


It was 102 degrees in Perth yesterday.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:30 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


outrage-filter.
posted by crunchland at 10:32 AM on December 28, 2010


Ad hominem living up to the user name.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:33 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


How bizarre. I've gotten a farm tractor with a bucket stuck in snow and ice more than a few times. First time it happened, I was like the guy in the video (minus the carnage): couldn't go anywhere. Then a buddy showed me how to use the bucket to move the tractor. That front-end loader was certainly in a position to do the same. He could have been out of there in a few minutes without needing a tow truck.
posted by jdfan at 10:34 AM on December 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Mayor Bloomberg "in today's press briefing about who was responsible for the damage. The Mayor, in his typical chill manner was all, Duh, if the sanitation worker hit the car, then of course we're responsible. Next!'" *
posted by ericb at 10:35 AM on December 28, 2010


So in performing their duties the city caused damage to a car, the city notified the owner, the city is paying for repairs. Why the outrage?
posted by munchingzombie at 10:36 AM on December 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


Cool, guess we don't hate the rich anymore.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:36 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


The tow truck driver is just being a colossal asshole (and is quite probably intoxicated on something).

The bag may also have contained a pork pie.
posted by hippybear at 10:37 AM on December 28, 2010


There's gotta be some context here that isn't known yet. I mean, I do think that the loader probably could have helped the situation with judicious use of the bucket, but there's probably no way it could have been un-stuck without some damage to the adjacent vehicles. It could very well be the case that those workers were told to get it out and back in service. It's entirely feasible to me that they even reported back that they would probably damage the Explorer, and were told to go ahead anyway. The point being that someone may have decided that it would be better to damage the car and pay for it than to have the loader out of commission in the middle of a huge blizzard. That's not the perfect model of bureaucratic accountablility, but I could sure see it happen.
posted by Shohn at 10:37 AM on December 28, 2010 [8 favorites]


Maybe the car owner didn't tip his sanitation workers this Christmas.
posted by Obscure Reference at 10:38 AM on December 28, 2010


Cool, guess we don't hate the rich anymore.

You didn't get the MeMail? It's Opposite Day!
posted by griphus at 10:39 AM on December 28, 2010


"The outraged wife of the vehicle’s owner, who didn’t want to appear on camera because her husband works for the City that owns the damaged vehicle, spoke with CBS 2 Tuesday.

'There should’ve been a City official here. There should’ve been a supervisor. This was unacceptable disregard for personal property,' she said.

One witness told us as the accident unfolded it only seemed to get worse. 'They seemed so concerned about just ripping the mirror off. They put a note and everything. And then they went and just destroyed this car.'

'Myself all my neighbors outside were screaming stop before they even started, and they totally disregarded us and they said they were told to move the vehicle no matter what the cost,' the wife said.

And it is a high cost to pay, in both insurance premiums and body work."*
posted by ericb at 10:39 AM on December 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wait no anger over a guy all warm an cozy in his 30 million dollar brownstone screams out the window at a couple of working stiffs trying to make sure him and his hedge fund neighbors can make it to work in the mornight? Must be nice to pay 4k in rent and still have enough for a Ford Explorer so you don't have to take the jitney out to the Hamptons every weekend.

3/10.
posted by Ratio at 10:40 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's kinda funny seeing all these people commenting on youtube, and a few here, are mocking the guy filming for heckling the sanitation workers, while they are just adding to the same thing they are complaining about. It's like an insult Oroubus.

I've operated front end-loaders, and I have to say that operator does not seem to know the capabilities of those things, especially with using the scoop as leverage. An experienced operator may have still damaged that car, but nowhere near to the degree that it was. But hey, they didn't give a shit, and are pissed that what they did got taped and made them look bad. I just don't get all the vitriol aimed at the guy taping.
posted by chambers at 10:40 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


The reason the cameradude is only in boxers is because his apartment is heated to the standard NYC internal temperature of 85F where the only way of adjusting the heat is opening a window.
posted by i_cola at 10:41 AM on December 28, 2010 [29 favorites]


12/28, Brooklyn Heights. Nevar forget.
posted by phaedon at 10:43 AM on December 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


“ … The tenant couldn't believe the situation unfolding before him at around 9:30 a.m.

‘I knew it was going to end bad,’ said John K., 46. ‘They got this huge tow truck that's used for buses and tractor trailers and they're using it to lift up the front end of another snow plow. And they're flailing because they have the back wheels off the ground. And it just went from bad to worse.’

He threw on some clothes and darted downstairs, where his landlord's wife stood helplessly watching her husband's work wheels get totaled.

‘Why weren't they putting chains on while they were lifting it up,’ he asked. ‘They could have drove it out themselves. I went down after they pulled it into the intersection and I saw my landlord and she was baffled; really beside herself.’

Arriving home to a pile of metal that once was his city-owned Ford Explorer was Eugene McArdle. He was summoned from work after he spent all morning shoveling the snow from his stoop.

‘One car belongs to my daughter and one belongs to my work,’ he told The Post. ‘They called me at work and told me it got struck and they [Sanitation] destroyed my car.’

Upon returning to his Brooklyn block he surveyed the eye-cringing damage.

‘They basically got the whole back and the car behind it. ‘They almost took out that hydrant. If I didn't dig it out of the snow earlier they would have taken it out too.’

As for the man who witnessed everything and put the snafu online, his clip has yielded hundreds of hits and he's received thousands of responses -- even death threats.

As bad as the damage suffered to the three autos was John K. said the Sanitation crew ducked devastation.

‘The widows blew out, and the bucket itself caught on the car,’ he said. ‘I really thought they were gonna run over it.’” *
posted by ericb at 10:47 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


...the only way of adjusting the heat is opening a window.

When my mom bought her apartment, she paid the super some cash under the table to saw open the section of the radiator grate where the adjusting knob was. Worth every fucking penny.

On the other hand, I used to live directly above my 85-year-old landlady's room. It was freezing from mid-afternoon until 7 PM, at which point my 8'x'10' room became an honest-go-goodness sauna. Then, at 3AM the heat was inexplicably shut off again until 7 AM.
posted by griphus at 10:47 AM on December 28, 2010


You didn't get the MeMail? It's Opposite Day!
So confused.

What sucks about this is they pretty much bury the parked cars while plowing. I've spent many hours digging cars out of dog piss covered mounds of ice and snow.

3/10.

This is my first try at moral indignation over something insignificant. I promise to try harder in the future.

The reason the cameradude is only in boxers is because his apartment is heated to the standard NYC internal temperature of 85F where the only way of adjusting the heat is opening a window.

I left all my windows open during the storm, it got only slightly chilly inside. Snow just turned to steam as it encountered the inside air.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:48 AM on December 28, 2010


Wait no anger over a guy all warm an cozy in his 30 million dollar brownstone screams out the window at a couple of working stiffs trying to make sure him and his hedge fund neighbors can make it to work in the mornight? Must be nice to pay 4k in rent and still have enough for a Ford Explorer so you don't have to take the jitney out to the Hamptons every weekend.

When I lived in New York I lived within 100 yards of where this took place. There's lots of apartments on Joralemon; it's not nearly as brownstone-heavy as other streets in Brooklyn Heights. I certainly wasn't rich when I lived there, and neither were any of my immediate neighbors. So, ptttthpt!
posted by Bookhouse at 10:55 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


hilarious, some enterprising Youtuber needs to dub his vocal commentary to the video of the Rodney King beating stat!
posted by any major dude at 10:56 AM on December 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Angle of attack was wrong with the tow truck. Should've hooked up on the right and pulled to the right. The guy in the shovel probably didn't hear the car getting chewed and might have thought the resistance on his machine was the snow and ice. Too, a more skillful shovel driver might've used the shovel to lift and move itself over a bit.

Anyhow it's on tape. The city will have to pay.
posted by rmmcclay at 10:57 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Do you guys not walk around naked in your homes? When I'm in my apartment, I wear as little clothing as possible.

In the winter? You and your furnace are killing the Earth.
posted by DU at 10:57 AM on December 28, 2010


It's a little amusing to watch the commenters in here jockeying to determine which way to align their outrage. Groupthink is tough when you're not sure which way the group thinks.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:57 AM on December 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


Anyhow it's on tape. The city will have to pay.

If "suspension with pay" is what you mean then, yes, that will almost certainly happen.
posted by griphus at 10:59 AM on December 28, 2010


It's a little amusing to watch the commenters in here jockeying to determine which way to align their outrage.

Do we hate the obviously stupid city worker (because, you know, only stupid people drive plows) or do we hate the rich guy with the Ford Explorer (because he's gotta be rich to live there and we have to hate the rich because they're rich) or do we hate him because he owns an SUV (even though he might use it to deliver rescue animals to his no-kill vegan animal shelter, it's still an SUV!!) or do we hate the guy in his underwear for some reason or do we hate Greg Nog for resting his dick on the windowsill and killing the earth in the process?

Me? I'm just amused at a car getting all smashed up.
posted by bondcliff at 11:04 AM on December 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


Speaking of disregard for private property.

A few weeks back I went out to buy a slice of pizza. As soon as I left my building I heard shouting and saw that there was a fire truck parked outside the pizza place. There was a crowd watching what looked like 5guys trying to pull a guy off a fire fighter. As I got closer I saw what had happened. There was a brand new BMW parked in front of the fire hydrant, all the doors were open and water was blasting through the interior of the car. What happened was they pulled up at a fire hydrant and left the car. Fire fighters pulled up in response to a call, smashed all the windows and opened all the doors to feed firehose through the car. Strange thing was, the car had no plates. Turns out the car was out on a test drive, the guy trying to kill the fire fighter was from the dealership.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:05 AM on December 28, 2010 [22 favorites]


I vote we we hate god for killing kittens and grandmas
posted by Ad hominem at 11:08 AM on December 28, 2010


Anyhow it's on tape. The city will have to pay.

My tax dollars hard at work.
posted by phaedon at 11:10 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Speaking of disregard for private property.

This happens a lot.
posted by chambers at 11:11 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's a little amusing to watch the commenters in here jockeying to determine which way to align their outrage.

i'm pissed that it was 102 degrees in perth, yesterday
posted by pyramid termite at 11:11 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


The people here going all "LOL rich people problems" probably don't understand that if the Explorer owner were truly well-off, the car would be in a private garage (which costs around $400/month). (I know it's a work vehicle, but still.)
posted by chowflap at 11:12 AM on December 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


Speaking of disregard for private property.

sounds more like a disregard for public safety on the part of the bmw driver
posted by pyramid termite at 11:13 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


"3/10.
posted by Ratio"


Eponysterical.
posted by Eideteker at 11:15 AM on December 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


It looks like Bloomberg's "Crash the Clunkers" program is off to a good start.
posted by ryoshu at 11:16 AM on December 28, 2010


Arriving home to a pile of metal that once was his city-owned Ford Explorer

Alright, it looks like expensive repairs will be needed, but 'pile of metal?' It's not scrap, fer crissakes.
posted by NationalKato at 11:17 AM on December 28, 2010


do we hate Greg Nog for resting his dick on the windowsill and killing the earth in the process?

I should point out that every time I rest my dick on the windowsill, it absorbs ten times its weight in carbon dioxide, sequestering it away from the atmosphere.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:17 AM on December 28, 2010 [11 favorites]


Speaking of disregard for private property.

Disregard for private property? More like disregard for public safety. There's a reason parking in front of hydrants is prohibited, and smashing the windows to get to the hydrant is exactly the correct thing for firefighters to do. Putting out a fire that can spread and destroy an awful lot of property and threaten lives is a hell of a lot more important than avoiding some damage to someone who couldn't be bothered to obey an extremely sensible law.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:18 AM on December 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


"i'm pissed that it was 102 degrees in perth, yesterday"

Yeah, and they use Celsius down there, so you KNOW it's hot!

(P.S., as an aside to other NYers... my apartment is newly-renovated. The knobs on the radiators actually work! It's taken some time, but I think I've finally got them tuned. Suck it, haters!)
posted by Eideteker at 11:18 AM on December 28, 2010


I'm glad folks out in the country wouldn't blink an eye if they sustained thousands of dollars in damage to things they owned.

folks "out in the country" understand that odd/even parking takes effect in November for a reason and that the good folks who work around the clock removing snow don't give a shit about your car if you obviously don't give a shit about your car.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 11:19 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I should point out that every time I rest my dick on the windowsill, it absorbs ten times its weight in carbon dioxide, sequestering it away from the atmosphere.

so you have a green dick?
posted by pyramid termite at 11:19 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


God is wrongeous
posted by jng at 11:22 AM on December 28, 2010


Can't think of any private garages near there except the one on Court and Atlantic, but you are right.

When I was in high school I was waiting for the pay phone one day and a kid in front of me was calling the garage to get his car brought out. This was the conversation "Yeah the Mercedes.... No the blue one."

I went to High School in Brooklyn Heights, which is why I find this video so hilarious.

Disregard for private property? More like disregard for public safety
I agree with you, just funny it was a test drive and the car was probably a total loss.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:23 AM on December 28, 2010


"I should point out that every time I rest my dick on the windowsill, it absorbs ten times its weight in carbon dioxide, sequestering it away from the atmosphere."

Speaking as someone who's met you a few times, I should mention it's only temporarily sequestered. At least now I know why your farts come out cold.
posted by Eideteker at 11:23 AM on December 28, 2010


above was @ad hom: I vote we we hate god for killing kittens and grandmas
posted by jng at 11:24 AM on December 28, 2010


Disregard for private property? More like disregard for public safety. There's a reason parking in front of hydrants is prohibited, and smashing the windows to get to the hydrant is exactly the correct thing for firefighters to do.

What kind of positioning of car and hydrant are you envisioning, that it's necessary to smash out the windows and open the doors and soak the interior of the car instead of, say, running the hose under or around it? How did it help them put out the fire to repeatedly and redundantly destroy this car?
posted by kafziel at 11:29 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


kafziel, consider it a lesson in civic responsibility, the price of pride.
posted by Apoch at 11:32 AM on December 28, 2010


posted by Ad hominem Speaking of disregard for private property . . . There was a brand new BMW parked in front of the fire hydrant, all the doors were open and water was blasting through the interior of the car. What happened was they pulled up at a fire hydrant and left the car. Fire fighters pulled up in response to a call, smashed all the windows and opened all the doors to feed firehose through the car.

Charged (water-filled) hoses cannot be easily bent around corners. The water in the hydrant is under extreme pressure--that's why the column of water from a broken fire hydrant usually shoots up two to four stories in the air, and that's why moving and aiming a hose usually requires two to four fire fighters. The fire hose attaches to the hydrant in a straight line, so when someone parks in front of a fire hydrant, the fire fighters aren't going to waste time calling a tow truck--they just smash the windows and run the hose through the car.

So if you block a fire hydrant, you don't have anyone to blame but yourself.
posted by mattdidthat at 11:37 AM on December 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


kafziel: See this Snopes discussion.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:39 AM on December 28, 2010


folks "out in the country" understand that odd/even parking takes effect in November for a reason and that the good folks who work around the clock removing snow don't give a shit about your car if you obviously don't give a shit about your car.

Oh for Christ's sake, since you don't understand anything about how parking works in New York City, why not give this thread a pass?
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 11:39 AM on December 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


A few weeks back I went out to buy a slice of pizza. As soon as I left my building I heard shouting and saw that there was a fire truck parked outside the pizza place. There was a crowd watching what looked like 5guys trying to pull a guy off a fire fighter. As I got closer I saw what had happened. There was a brand new BMW parked in front of the fire hydrant, all the doors were open and water was blasting through the interior of the car. What happened was they pulled up at a fire hydrant and left the car. Fire fighters pulled up in response to a call, smashed all the windows and opened all the doors to feed firehose through the car. Strange thing was, the car had no plates. Turns out the car was out on a test drive, the guy trying to kill the fire fighter was from the dealership.

This didn't happen to you; you merely decided to appropriate a years-old internet JPEG joke and call it your own experience as part of trolling this thread.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 11:42 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I love how everyone in the video is literally howling mad. If the tow truck driver had been punching a guy in the face, i bet there would have been less pure rage from the concerned onlookers. It's just a car, people. And the guy filming is the worst. Dial it down a notch, junior. If this is really the most shocking thing you've ever seen, maybe you need to go see more stuff.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:47 AM on December 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


This didn't happen to you; you merely decided to appropriate a years-old internet JPEG joke and call it your own experience as part of trolling this

I did indeed see this. Never saw that pic but I have seen backdraft.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:47 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


As a former tow truck driver, I approve of this destruction.
posted by clavdivs at 11:48 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


you merely decided to appropriate a years-old internet JPEG joke

It's actually not a joke that firefighters will run the hose through your car if you're parked in front of a hydrant. Perhaps those photos have been assimilated and used for jokey memes, but the facts are pretty simple.
posted by hippybear at 11:49 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]




Alternate side parking is suspended for snow removal by people who's cars are buried under snow. It will take a few days for people to be able to move cars again.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:54 AM on December 28, 2010



What kind of positioning of car and hydrant are you envisioning, that it's necessary to smash out the windows and open the doors and soak the interior of the car instead of, say, running the hose under or around it? How did it help them put out the fire to repeatedly and redundantly destroy this car?


I used to fight fires as a hose and pump tender. Hoses under pressure do not bend. At all. Also, they leak like you wouldn't believe. If a car or other obstruction blocks the hydrant, it must be moved. Damage to the car was inevitable.

Would it really have been better if they let the structure burn to the ground and then sent the owner of the beemer the bill for that, instead ? Besides, a fancy car like a beemer and he hasn't got insurance ? The low cost solution is to damage a 50k car to save a 200k structure.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:59 AM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Quick story: My pal who lived in Woodside years ago once found his car about forty feet from where he parked it, and up on the sidewalk. Neighbors said a sanitation truck pushed it there. As it was a well-seasoned New York City beater car, there was no observable new damage, so off to work he went.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 12:02 PM on December 28, 2010


I love how everyone in the video is literally howling mad.

Probably because he knows he's paying for that damage in property tax/local income tax/rates while the public employees blithely tear that shit up without giving a moment's thought to the cost of the damage. Why should they? They're not paying for it?

It's particularly galling when local authorities are cutting essential public services, claiming that they can't afford it, when public employees continue to mindlessly piss money away like this.

It's just a car, people.

Not really, no.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:04 PM on December 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


In soviet Greg Nog, miraculous penis sucks you.
posted by felix at 12:05 PM on December 28, 2010


Youtube comment: @lalamango1 what a coincidence! i watched a man kill another man last tuesday and i thought i heard the gilmore girls theme song playing in the background.
posted by doublehappy at 12:10 PM on December 28, 2010


I must be getting old and financially more comfortable, because my first thought I had while watching this wasn't about the money involved (that's what insurance is for), but about the hours and hours of hassle it will take to get it to the mechanic, wait for it to be fixed, talking to my insurance company and filing claims, etc. just because some idiot was careless. So yeah, in that way, it's not really just a car.
posted by chowflap at 12:18 PM on December 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


This didn't happen to you; you merely decided to appropriate a years-old internet JPEG joke and call it your own experience as part of trolling this thread.

I obviously have no idea whether Ad hominem saw this happen or not, but I can tell you with certainty it does happen, and that I've personally seen it done more than once in my various emergency response roles.
posted by rollbiz at 12:22 PM on December 28, 2010


"Alternate Side Parking Rules and parking meters are suspended on Tuesday, December 28 and on Wednesday, December 29 for snow removal."

They decide this on a day-by-day basis after a storm. As of yesterday, you were still supposed to move your car if it was parked on a Wednesday-cleaning street. When it becomes clear that (1) it's basically impossible to move your car to another spot, and (2) people trying to move their cars would just be in the way of the plows, they cancel it.

"After a snowfall, alternate side parking regulations will be restored so that plows can begin removing snow and ice from curbside lanes. Plowing helps to clear parking lanes and catch basins, which reduces the chance of melting snow flooding streets, and also helps return street cleaning operations back to normal."

Once it is possible to move your car, they want it out of the way so that they can clear the area by the curb, which frees up snowed-in parking spaces and helps open the drains.

I guess you never know which threads on MeFi will devolve into trolling and poo-flinging.

New York City threads are pretty reliable for bringing out the trolls, NYC haters and other riff raff.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 12:22 PM on December 28, 2010


I guess you never know which threads on MeFi will devolve into trolling and poo-flinging.

When someone drops into a thread solely for the purpose of making a boorish, baiting comment that also happens to be grossly ignorant of the very topic said user decided to broach (in this case, how NYC enforces its parking), it's entirely reasonable that someone may respond to such glaring ignominy in kind, and often, such responses may come off as flippant, hot-headed and (admittedly) a little uncalled for.

Sorry for the derail. Carry on.
posted by tiger yang at 12:23 PM on December 28, 2010


Hi mefi I take pics for you.digging cars out

A lot of cars are stuck.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:25 PM on December 28, 2010


I wonder how many of the Brooklyn bloggers who are all mad at the tow truck guy are also all mad that their streets haven't been plowed yet.
posted by nicwolff at 12:27 PM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


If that's destroyed, then the car I'm driving now is destroyed.

Given that you appear to be driving while posting to MetaFilter, I am unsuprised.
posted by brundlefly at 12:33 PM on December 28, 2010


I wonder how many of the Brooklyn bloggers who are all mad at the tow truck guy are also all mad that their streets haven't been plowed yet.

It's really not unreasonable to both want a job done, and want it done in a way that won't cause unnecessary serious damage to people's property. I mean, I like having my trash picked up, but I still wouldn't be happy if the garbage men swung trash cans around casually and dented a couple of cars every block, maybe took out a headlight here or there.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:35 PM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


The first causality of snowpocalypses is truth.
posted by mazola at 12:36 PM on December 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh we're posting pictures! There was a bus stuck all day yesterday in front of my apartment at the bottom of Fifth Avenue (the real one in Manhattan) — and then someone got stuck next to it and abandoned their car in the middle of Fifth Avenue. So only one lane got plowed, in a tight S-curve – there were city buses backed up for blocks.
posted by nicwolff at 12:38 PM on December 28, 2010


me: I wonder how many of the Brooklyn bloggers who are all mad at the tow truck guy are also all mad that their streets haven't been plowed yet.

Tomorrowful: It's really not unreasonable to both want a job done, and want it done in a way that won't cause unnecessary serious damage to people's property.

OK, so that's one.
posted by nicwolff at 12:40 PM on December 28, 2010


*makes W for Whatever sign with fingers, sticks naked dick out onto snowy windowsill for neighbors to admire while smugly sipping Irish coffee"

Your neighbors know about shrinkage, right?
posted by madajb at 12:45 PM on December 28, 2010


at the bottom of Fifth Avenue (the real one in Manhattan)

Great, now the trolls are coming from inside the house.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 12:46 PM on December 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


I'm glad to see that YouTube comments have once again reached dizzying peaks of stupidity. My favourite is the one using this incident to illustrate what life would be like under "Obamacare".
posted by smoke at 12:50 PM on December 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


It's really not unreasonable to both want a job done, and want it done in a way that won't cause unnecessary serious damage to people's property. I mean, I like having my trash picked up, but I still wouldn't be happy if the garbage men swung trash cans around casually and dented a couple of cars

These guys aren't just fucking around, and it's also something of an emergency situation, they really have to keep the streets open in case emergency vehicles need to get somewhere, so they need the front loader.

I'm kinda puzzled how the front loader got stuck like that. Was he pushing snow up next to the curb and couldn't back out or was the front loader parked there and they sent someone to get it and he couldn't get out.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:50 PM on December 28, 2010


Once I was done feeling bad for the truck, I started feeling a bit anthropomorphically sorry for the front end loader. Part way through it starts flopping around like an animal with a injured back.

Which suggests to me that the person driving it shouldn't have been anywhere near it without a lot more training. I've seen people make those things dance, so I know how nimble they can be in the right hands.
posted by quin at 12:51 PM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm glad folks out in the country wouldn't blink an eye if they sustained thousands of dollars in damage to things they owned.

So this city slicker pulls up to the redneck bait shop in his slick late model Explorer SUV. Jim Bob comes around the corner in a front end loader, hell bent for leather (and Miller Lite) and manages to rip the bumper right of the Explorer on his way by.

So City Slicker asks the guy behind the counter in the bait shop, how much is a Ford Explorer bumper around here?

And the guy behind the counter says, "if you've got collision, $3000, same as in town."
posted by spitbull at 12:54 PM on December 28, 2010


Also, I lost count of how many cars I saw abandoned in the streets in NYC yesterday, some stopped in their tracks in deadly dangerous places (like just beyond the entrance to a cross street, god help the fire department if they have to get down that street, let alone a snow plow.

You gotta figure a big storm racks up tens of millions in collateral damage and this one just happened to get caught on tape by a Youtubing douchebag.
posted by spitbull at 12:56 PM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


[Couple comments removed. Shouldn't need to say "don't call each other fucking idiots".]
posted by cortex at 1:03 PM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


folks "out in the country" understand that odd/even parking takes effect in November for a reason and that the good folks who work around the clock removing snow don't give a shit about your car if you obviously don't give a shit about your car.

New York City has alternate side parking and other parking and traffic laws to deal with snow. It also doesn't have a plethora of places in which folks can put their vehicles unless they have tons of cash sitting around for a garage space. In the country, you might be able to put your car in your driveway and plow it out yourself, but city dwellers with cars don't really have that option and depend on everyone's best efforts to not damage their property.
posted by zachlipton at 1:23 PM on December 28, 2010


These guys aren't just fucking around

Maybe not. But they are dangerously incompetent.
posted by Ratio at 1:32 PM on December 28, 2010


It also doesn't have a plethora of places in which folks can put their vehicles unless they have tons of cash sitting around for a garage space.

So, they just let the taxpayers pay for a place to store their property instead of factoring storage as part of the TCO. A year or two worth of savings from street parking instead of a garage will cover the damage. They've essentially offloaded some cost in return for some risk.

I agree that the tow truck driver and the loader operator were in over their heads. That damage didn't need to happen and most, if not all, could have been avoided. That said, a couple thousand dollars in property damage is essentially inconsequential given the magnitude of the event - and this is why you carry insurance, anyway.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:44 PM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


You gotta figure a big storm racks up tens of millions in collateral damage and this one just happened to get caught on tape by a Youtubing douchebag.

Amen. I just got back from driving around my folks' area in NJ, and there are still abandoned cars all over the place. There has been a huge amount of property damage to buildings, cars, and public facilities, regardless of who got caught doing what on video. These guys were trying to get a piece of equipment back on the road to try to return some functionality to the city. Had it not been videoed, it'd be one more claim minus the widespread outrage. This storm was incredibly difficult to contend with, calling on ever resource at every organizational level, and chances are these guys had been working around the clock and were just being pressured to get the equipment back onto the streets. I was stuck inside for two full days and had I been standing there, would have rooted for them to get the thing back to work however they had to do it. It'll be paid for. This kind of thing happens all the time and the amount of tax impact it has is so infinitesimal that it could easily be offset by very small savings elsewhere. Things happen. It's been an enormous storm, and there's nothing easier than criticizing people doing a job you're not doing.
posted by Miko at 1:48 PM on December 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


So, they just let the taxpayers pay for a place to store their property instead of factoring storage as part of the TCO.

They are the taxpayers. The only people not paying to "store their property" are people driving in from out of town. People who park on the street factor in lots of things, like the fact that their bumpers will get scraped, and the side of their car will get dinged by taxi doors.

While we're all here, is there anyone else who knows even less about NYC parking that has an opinion to share? A visitor from Venus perhaps?
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 2:27 PM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


The only people not paying to "store their property" are people driving in from out of town.

I must have been misinformed when I was told that lots of people in NYC don't own cars.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:46 PM on December 28, 2010


They are the taxpayers. The only people not paying to "store their property" are people driving in from out of town

They are fewer than half of the taxpayers. And people driving in from out of town to work or shop are paying NYC taxes too.
posted by nicwolff at 2:48 PM on December 28, 2010


I must have been misinformed when I was told that lots of people in NYC don't own cars.

Welcome nitpicking Venusian!

They are fewer than half of the taxpayers.

You forgot to whine about how they all live in the outer boroughs too.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 2:59 PM on December 28, 2010


"Have you ever watched a child play with toy trucks? Like, backhoes and front-end loaders and other heavy machinery made of plastic? They love to drive and smash them around, as if the light toys were actually causing serious damage, or at least doing some heavy lifting. Well, that's what it's like to watch these Sanitation Department workers attempting to pull a snowplow out of an embankment on Joralemon Street in Brooklyn Heights yesterday. Except the massive machines that are floundering about are very much real, and they are very much destroying a white Ford Explorer and the cars around it. If you watch the video with the sound turned off (which we kind of recommend at first because the guy who filmed it is firing off expletives left and right), it almost looks innocent and silly. But then when you listen to the crunching noises, you realize what kind of damage these things are actually doing. The kicker? The Ford that received the brunt of the damage was a city-owned vehicle." *
posted by ericb at 3:00 PM on December 28, 2010


Mayor Says City Likely To Pay For Plow Incident Caught On YouTube
"Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the city will most likely cover the damages to a vehicle that was hit by a snow plow during Monday's blizzard cleanup in Brooklyn Heights.

... 'I'll leave it to the lawyers but I assume we probably are responsible if our plow hits them,' Bloomberg said during a Tuesday press conference. 'I don't know any reason why we wouldn't be, but it's a question for our lawyers and if you talk to our lawyer department, they'd be happy to give you an answer to that.'

A spokesperson for the Department of Sanitation was not sure if a claim for the damages had been filed."
posted by ericb at 3:04 PM on December 28, 2010


Welcome nitpicking Venusian!

Actually, I'm from Mount Pleasant.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:15 PM on December 28, 2010


...and this one just happened to get caught on tape by a Youtubing douchebag.

Note to all 'Youtubing douchebags':
If you witness and/or document in any form (e.g. get the license plate info, videotape) any damage (no matter how minor) to my vehicle parked on the side of a public or private road, street, avenue, lane, parking lot, thoroughfare, path, turnpike, highway, parkway, throughway, freeway and expressway, I will be appreciative and grateful. Even if you refuse, I will reward you for your assistance. Such which will allow me to most assuredly file a valid and detailed claim with my insurance company. I will be happy to provide you a gift certificate to a local restaurant and a bottle of Veuve Cliquot (or, other appropriate beverage) for your efforts.*
* -- Thank you to the neighboring family who witnessed a drunk driver plow into my parked car and noted the car's make, model and license plate. You made my -- and the insurance company's -- handling of the incident much easier. As such, with concrete evidence, my rates were not increased in that instance.
posted by ericb at 3:25 PM on December 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


You forgot to whine about how they all live in the outer boroughs too.

No, my folks and some of my friends own cars here in Manhattan; I used to myself. We pay for parking.
posted by nicwolff at 3:49 PM on December 28, 2010


munchingzombie writes "So in performing their duties the city caused damage to a car, the city notified the owner, the city is paying for repairs. Why the outrage?"

A traffic accident occurred in NYC. This is important stuff.
posted by Mitheral at 4:24 PM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


This storm was incredibly difficult to contend with, calling on ever resource at every organizational level, and chances are these guys had been working around the clock and were just being pressured to get the equipment back onto the streets.

One thing we learned down here last February is that plowing isn't so simple after a storm this big because you have to figure out what to do with the snow. Out in the suburbs and rural areas, you can usually push snow over to the side of the road, but you can't do that in the city. You have to plow into piles so the intersections and parked cars are free, but you can't block sidewalks, hydrants, or storm drains because that creates other hazards. In the end, you have to load the snow into trucks and cart it off to be dumped somewhere. It's a logistical nightmare and it may take weeks to get back to normal.
posted by weebil at 5:02 PM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I will be appreciative and grateful. Even if you refuse, I will reward you for your assistance.

I agree in principle, as far as evidence goes. It would be awesome if he took the video, then knocked on the Explorer owner's door and handed it to them on a flash drive. Very neighborly, very helpful, very responsible, very likely to improve the chances of a successful claim.

It's less awesome to listen to someone self-aggrandize on YouTube about how much better he would handle the bucket loader, and then see hundreds of even more ancillary people who have even less perspective pile on the hate for a bunch of municipal workers who have been busting ass in a subfreezing blizzard for hours. And less awesome yet to watch the whole thing paraded on Fox News as more evidence of government incompetence and further reason for the Tea Party logic of divesting from public services.

I agree the city should be responsible; they certainly are, and that the more evidence one has in a claim, the better. That's all covered by the video recording. I'm not sure, though, that YouTube is a great place to lodge the evidence, and I'm actively ashamed at the vitriol and ignorance of many of the responses. This incident concerns the city, the car owner, and the videotaper, and could have been well handled by those parties alone. In fact, these kinds of incidents are handled daily by municipal governments and "the lawyer department." They aren't unusual. It's clear the videotaper was excited by the incident and intended to share it with a wider audience, not just those concerned. I don't see a larger lesson about something 'the people need to know' when we all know that things of this kind are happening all over the city and beyond, wherever the storm has touched. I think there's ego in the presentation and response, and not much more.

There is plenty of stuff in the world worth getting the mob outraged about. Garden-variety storm damage from a cleanup effort just isn't on that list, for me.
posted by Miko at 5:45 PM on December 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Probably a third of my comments on mefi have been typed with the boys swingin' round like a coupla drunk square-dancers.

My apologies in advance if I end up giving you some unusually contemplative looks at the next New York meetup.

I keed.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:49 PM on December 28, 2010


I thought it was very sweet, the way so make youtube commenters could agree that this should all be attributed to UNIONIZATION.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:07 PM on December 28, 2010


Something like 2 years ago, Seattle had a monster snow storm that kept hitting over and over for a week or so. One of my friends, a bus driver, told me about a driver who's bus got stuck in the snow.

Now, if your bus is stuck, and the rescue truck can't come to you in a reasonable amount of time, you have two options:

1) abandon the bus
2) stay with the bus UNTIL a rescue truck comes, no matter how long it takes.

Said driver happened to get stuck a block from a convenience market that was still open, so she spent 3 days eating crappy and using the market's restroom. So, by union rules, she had worked a 72 hour shift, and, the overtime rates add up between holiday time, over 8 hour shift, over X number of hours in a 2 day period, etc. etc.

She got $600,000+ from those 3 days in a bus.

My buddy the bus driver? He really hopes to get caught in a snow storm one day.
posted by yeloson at 8:21 PM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


someone got stuck next to it and abandoned their car in the middle of Fifth Avenue.

That's insane. And by "that", I mean the fact that somebody could actually get their car stuck in such a paltry amount of snow.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 8:47 PM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


She got $600,000+ from those 3 days in a bus.

I'l believe that when I see the outraged newspaper article on it. Got a link yeloson? Public employee salary (including overtime) are public record. I could be wrong, but my hunch says... full of shit.
posted by twjordan at 8:51 PM on December 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


Another reason to not live where it snows. Seems like this sort of thing is just par for the course...sort of like driving in California during the first rain of the season.
posted by Chuffy at 10:10 PM on December 28, 2010


This didn't happen to you; you merely decided to appropriate a years-old internet JPEG joke and call it your own experience as part of trolling this

Ad hominem I did indeed see this. Never saw that pic but I have seen backdraft.

Easy enough to verify if Ad hominem would provide the incident location.
posted by mlis at 10:49 PM on December 28, 2010



>It's fascinating how this person gets so emotional over a car being (barely) damaged. I guess pain is relative.

>>Obviously you don't own a car, or have never needed to take your car in to the body shop, and have no idea how much car repairs cost.


Yes, partly true* -- mostly it is obvious that I don't worship the Sacred Automobile -- as so many here appear to. As someone noted, the emoting here is more dramatic than what is seen when humans are being destroyed.

It is JUST A CAR !!

*automobile = auto-destruction of human life on this planet anyway; why is there any sorrow for damaged cars or their owners?
posted by Surfurrus at 11:09 PM on December 28, 2010


>> I love how everyone in the video is literally howling mad.

> Probably because he knows he's paying for that damage in property tax/local income tax/rates while the public employees blithely tear that shit up without giving a moment's thought to the cost of the damage.


Er... as it turns out, they did give it a moment's thought, and were instructed by supervisors to continue nonetheless. Something about the equipment being needed during the heavy blizzard?

Okay, so our intrepid videographer couldn't have known this. And yeah, they could have been less inept about it. But really, I'll go ahead and side with the few here who consider his maudlin antics a little over-the-top. I mean, they don't even seem to be directed -- it's not like the driver could hear him...
posted by Talisman at 12:06 AM on December 29, 2010


yeloson writes "She got $600,000+ from those 3 days in a bus. "

Even if the driver's base rate is $100/hour, 600K is 83+X the base rate over 72 hours. That seems like an unlikely multiplier. Even triple time on triple time on triple time is only a 27x multiplier and have a hard time imagining any supervisor authorizing even that expense. Especially considering the payout wouldn't have been linear (more money per hour for the later hours) and considering a brand new transit bus only cost ~$330K [PDF]. At more than $8000 per hour the transit authority would have told the employee to go home and risked the total loss of the bus.
posted by Mitheral at 1:16 AM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Something about the equipment being needed during the heavy blizzard?

So they needed their not-properly-equipped-for-a-blizzard front loader to get stuck somewhere else?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:15 AM on December 29, 2010


*automobile = auto-destruction of human life on this planet anyway

This "unit of auto-destruction of human life on this planet" would have been a tremendous help in getting me to my job on Monday, when one of the two public transit systems I rely on to get me there got suspended. ...Unless you're suggesting I should have walked through the Lincoln Tunnel (and I suspect that Homeland Security would have had some things to say about that).

I agree that there are those who rely on cars way too much -- but there are also those who actually do need them, so an across-the-board "cars are bad" comes across as unfair.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:40 AM on December 29, 2010


So, they just let the taxpayers pay for a place to store their property instead of factoring storage as part of the TCO. A year or two worth of savings from street parking instead of a garage will cover the damage. They've essentially offloaded some cost in return for some risk.

Yep. When you own a car in New York, you amortize the cost of on-street parking by taking a couple of years of the average life of a vehicle, or you pay 300-500 a month to park in a garage (at least in Manhattan), which is like a freaking car payment for most middle-class vehicles, so why bother?

Guarantee anyone driving a new Ford Explorer and parking on the street has collision coverage for this (has anyone mentioned the cost of insurance in NYC? It's another car payment anywhere else).

I once had a car destroyed by a simple garbage truck that couldn't make a corner in fine weather on a NYC side street. Didn't have collision, accident was witnessed and reported, etc. Still took months to collect from the city and didn't get everything the accident cost. In NYC you either drive a beater (which this was) or you carry full collision, or you are rich enough not to care about your car getting killed. Never mind that every idiot getting out of a taxi smashes the door into the side of the parked car next to the curb when they get out. Etc.
posted by spitbull at 4:45 AM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


And I am just going to say f**k the h8ters and this Youtube kid. I want to personally than the NYC sanitation crews that cleared this blizzard on Christmas. It was cold, it was nasty, it was heavy, it was Christmas. Give them a freaking break.

People are such wusses.
posted by spitbull at 4:46 AM on December 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Thank, not "than"
posted by spitbull at 4:47 AM on December 29, 2010


i rooted for the orange thing all the time.
posted by 3mendo at 6:30 AM on December 29, 2010


It was cold, it was nasty, it was heavy, it was Christmas.

Technically, no, it wasn't. The blizzard only really got going on Sunday evening.

I want to personally than the NYC sanitation crews that cleared this blizzard on Christmas.

It's not completely cleared. In fact, at least two people have died because streets weren't plowed and the ambulances couldn't reach them. I don't blame the workers themselves, but the city was sadly underprepared.
posted by Evangeline at 6:30 AM on December 29, 2010


People are such wusses.

Of course, those people probably should have just strapped on their snowshoes and walked to the emergency room.
posted by Evangeline at 6:32 AM on December 29, 2010


As of this morning most of the streets in Brooklyn remain unplowed, at least the smaller residential streets. A friend of my mother has missed two doctor's appointments. She recently had a stroke and needs a followup scan. So today her two sons will carry her to a plowed road and call a car service.

What wusses.
posted by Splunge at 6:52 AM on December 29, 2010


For all you kids getting upset because so many folks know jack about NYC: Same as it ever was.
But I come from a time when Brooklyn Heights wasn't considered by many to really be in New York City. Just sayin'!
posted by Goofyy at 7:32 AM on December 29, 2010


It is JUST A CAR !!

It isn't just about a car. And this was no accident that couldn't have been helped.

It's about recklessly causing unneeded destruction, despite the owner of the car, and many other people, standing right there in the street yelling at you to STOP already.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:16 AM on December 29, 2010


despite the owner of the car, and many other people, standing right there in the street yelling at you to STOP already.

Yeah, I think there's a dearth of New York literacy contributing to the outrage. You can replicate this yelling-bystander situation yourself by trying some clumsy parallel parking. Sadly, municipal workers are used to be yelled at by people who don't understand what they're being ordered to do.

Also, the fact that streets were unplowed and people trapped is exactly why most of us would happily sacrifice a replaceable car in order to get street-clearing equipment going.

I feel really sorry for a lot of people in this blizzard. I feel sorry for the folks who had to sleep at LIRR stations and had a breakfast of Ritz crackers from the Red Cross. I feel sorry for the people who have been living in Newark Airport and JFK for three days, in the same clothes they flew, who lined up for three hours to get Sbarros pizza because it was the only hot food they had seen in 24 hours. I feel sorry for my brother and his wife, who have been trapped in their home in NJ due to unplowed streets until late last night. I feel sorry for the people with cancer and leukemia who missed chemotherapy appointments , and sorry for the people risking crisis by going without heart or diabetes medication, and I feel sorry for the people who spent hundreds of dollars on travel and had to turn around and go home and never got to see their family for the holidays this year. I feel sorry for the workers who were understaffed and undermanaged because of sweeping budget cuts resulting in badly maintained equipment and lack of trained assistance, and irresponsible leadership, and who deployed for 36 hours straight or more in conditions that would terrify most of us to work in or drive in, facing the most challenging storm the area has seen in a century and knowing that though their efforts could not possibly be enough, they had to keep going and do what they could. I'm sorry for the famillies of the people who died and for everyone who suffered damage to life and health and family relationships during the storm.

On the list of people who I am sorry for because of this storm, people whose stuff got broken and damaged are at the far bottom end. Is it a bummer? Yeah. Is it worth the degree of focus it's been given? Hell no. By no means.
posted by Miko at 8:35 AM on December 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


Miko writes "facing the most challenging storm the area has seen in a century"

Is this storm really worst than 1978, 1996, or 2006, 1947? I realize snowfall isn't everything but Central Park received 35% more snow in the snowstorm of 2006 then it did this year.

Hopefully this storm is a wake up call for everyone who was stranded without necessities or knows someone who was. Not everyone can afford to be prepared but way to many people who can afford it aren't. The JIT nature of modern society has left many people unprepared for several days of isolation and self sufficiency that pretty well all disaster planning assumes residents have.
posted by Mitheral at 9:18 AM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Did some research - yeah, the number is probably bullshit, though given raw wages for Metro drivers with average OT at $49.26, then hitting triple or quadruple when you tack on over 16 hours plus holiday pay, I'm sure my friend is still quite right in that snowstorms are bus driver lotto.

For the 2008 storms: "Extra costs from the storms are expected to be $1 million to $1.5 million, mainly employee overtime"
posted by yeloson at 9:56 AM on December 29, 2010


Maybe if all those yelling jackholes, including the dude with the video camera in his jammies, got out and helped push or something.. Apparently New York City's definition of "civic duty" involves threatening to call a lawyer.
posted by crunchland at 9:59 AM on December 29, 2010


While we're all here, is there anyone else who knows even less about NYC parking that has an opinion to share? A visitor from Venus perhaps?

I have never set foot in NYC! Now, then. Why don't they all put their cars in the driveway so the snowplows can get through? Irresponsible, I say!
posted by Kwine at 10:05 AM on December 29, 2010


Why don't they all put their cars in the driveway so the snowplows can get through? Irresponsible, I say!

I'm pretty sure you're kidding, but could you please confirm?
posted by Evangeline at 10:11 AM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Apparently New York City's definition of "civic duty" involves threatening to call a lawyer.

I would have thought it would take quite a leap to come to that conclusion based on one video, but I suppose if for some reason you already have a grudge against New York City, it's not that difficult.
posted by Evangeline at 10:24 AM on December 29, 2010


Is this storm really worst than 1978, 1996, or 2006, 1947? I realize snowfall isn't everything but Central Park received 35% more snow in the snowstorm of 2006 then it did this year.

Yeah, I'd like a better understanding of what made this year's storm so much worse than '06. Was it just the timing of being smack dab in the middle of holiday travel? The fact that it came right on the heels of Europe getting blasted as well? Maybe I was too tucked in to my own little corner of the city, but the worst part of the '06 aftermath I can remember was that it was nearly three weeks before the next trash pickup (as all of the trucks had been used to haul snow.) The best part? Wandering out in the morning and making a snow angel in the middle of 7th avenue!
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:00 AM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think it must've been a mix between holiday (so when you say, "It wasn't Christmas, it was the day after Christmas," that totally misses the fact that a number of city employees were probably on away on Christmas vacation and unable to report to work, so they were probably short-staffed and overworked; who knows how long these guys had been on the clock by this point?) and budget woes. Straight out of my ass, but I can't think of what else it would be.
posted by Eideteker at 11:06 AM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]




Alternate-Side Rules Suspended for Rest of Week
"Alternate-side parking rules and meter regulations will continue their hiatus on Thursday, the city transportation department announced this afternoon.

With the rules already scheduled to be suspended on Friday and Saturday in observance of New Year’s and the rules unenforced on Sundays, that will make eight days in a row where you can park practically at will in this crazy town, contingent on your shoveling skills (or leave your car where it is). You may now celebrate."
posted by ericb at 11:28 AM on December 29, 2010


Day 3: Have They Plowed Your Street Yet?
posted by ericb at 11:29 AM on December 29, 2010


Or just clear out all the stuff in your garage and put it in the basement and then you'll have room for the cars? HTH
posted by Kwine at 11:32 AM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


South Hadley (MA) Native John Knightly Amazed His YouTube Video of NYC Snowplow Misadventure Is An Internet Sensation
“As he picked up his cell phone Monday morning and began recording the comedy of errors involving a tow truck and a front-end loader snow right outside his Brooklyn Heights window, John Knightly knew something unusual was going to happen.

But looking back he said he never could have guessed how unusual, or that his video would be watched all over the world.

‘It’s blown up to proportions I could never have expected,’ he said. ‘I’m dumbfounded.’

Knightly, 47, a South Hadley native who still has family in the area, became - quite literally - an overnight sensation when he posted the 4-minute video on YouTube showing some city workers trying to free a piece of heavy equipment from an unplowed street. In the process, they destroyed a parked SUV.

Within hours after he was persuaded by friends to post it on YouTube, the video went viral, spreading from person to person and from computer to computer like a digital wildfire.

In a little more than 24 hours, the video has been seen more than 720,000 times on YouTube, making it the 11th most-watched video and the 4th most-watched comedy video for the day.

As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, it was the number one video in Australia, although Knightly confesses he does not know why.

… Monday morning he was in his apartment when he heard a commotion out in the street. A front-end loader had gotten stuck in the snow-covered street and the tow truck was trying to pull it out.

Knightly said he had a feeling it wasn’t going to go very well. They had been at it with out much success for close to two hours, and every now and again, he would look out the window and record it with his phone.

‘I could see it escalating. It (the loader) was just going nowhere’ he said. ‘They got fed up and at any cost they just decided to pull it out.’

The loader slid to the side and smashed into the snow-covered SUV. The tow truck would back up to regroup and pull again, and the loader would again slide into the SUV. Eventually, the tow truck driver floored it, pulling the loader out with a display of brute force that left the SUV in a heap on the sidewalk. The SUV was in the care of the husband of his landlady, and she can be heard screaming at the city workers ‘No one is leaving here until I have a police report.’

… Initially shocked, Knightly said it wasn’t until he loaded it on his computer and watched it for the first time that he realized how comical it all was.

He said he thinks it stuck an immediate nerve with New Yorkers in particular because everyone is fed up with the city’s response to the storm.

‘For me, it was humorous,’ he said. ‘With the exception of the F-bombs and the questionable language, I thought it was pretty funny.’”
posted by ericb at 11:42 AM on December 29, 2010


The Brooklyn Paper:
“Nobody leaves here until I get a police report!” [Kathleen McArdle] yelled. “This is ridiculous!”

No cops came by that morning, as crews dealt with the larger citywide disaster. The Sanitation Department said on Tuesday that it is “investigating” the incident that destroyed the $37,000 city car, and two others in a maelstrom of twisted metal.

The three vehicles were still on the street on Tuesday afternoon, their windows smashed in and yellow paint — likely from the snowplow — pock-marking their dents and scratches.

It may not be the worst story of the great blizzard that struck predominantly in Brooklyn on Dec. 26, but it’s certainly one of the most baffling — especially considering the four-minute-long footage, which shows both the tow truck and tractor-turned-snowplow backing repeatedly into the McArdle’s cars and a third vehicle.

“They knew they were hitting the cars — I was sitting there screaming,” Kathleen McArdle told us. “But they ignored us. They just kept going.”

The city has been mostly mute on the subject, likely because of the incriminating evidence.

... The Heights wreck wasn’t even the only Sanitation Department shenanigan caught on tape in the wake of the storm. Another YouTube video, posted by Coney Island resident Jason Letterman early Monday morning, shows three department snowplows parked at 18th and Coney Island avenues — while their drivers sit in a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts. Letterman claims that the trucks were parked there for more than five hours, and that both avenues are still covered in white powder.

“Obviously they’re saying they can’t do anything because there are cars all over the street,” Letterman told us. “But why don’t they take them somewhere else and get the job done? Sitting in Dunkin’ Donuts is ridiculous. They’re crippling the city.”

The city didn’t comment on the video by our no-coffee-break deadline.
posted by ericb at 11:50 AM on December 29, 2010


As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, it was the number one video in Australia, although Knightly confesses he does not know why.

Because it was 102 fucking degrees in Perth yesterday.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:59 PM on December 29, 2010


People sometimes die in bad weather. I'm not trying to minimize the several deaths caused directly by the storm, and perhaps 2 or 3 caused by inability of rescue crews to get to emergency situations. Shit does happen sometimes. Especially in a blizzard, in a city of 8 million people.

And yeah, sorry, it was the day after Christmas. Sunday, no less. I was out in it. It was still "Christmas" in the colloquial sense. People were still digesting their Christmas dinners.

It. Was. A. Major. Blizzard. The general tone of hair-pulling and buck passing and blame tossing going on in the media and among the politicians is pathetic. But either way, the hatred directed personally at sanitation workers is bullshit, and there's been some in this thread and for sure in other online discussions of this video. Those guys have a shitty, shitty job even when it's beautiful out. Hundreds of them left their families on Christmas weekend to go out into a major blizzard and fight impossible conditions. There aren't enough of them, I can see blaming the city for underestimating the need, but in case you haven't heard, times are a little tight in the NYC budget area these days. (And meanwhile everyone is bitching about the MTA fare hike, the tolls going up, etc.)

Besides, as this was happening, 20 other cars were smashing into other cars somewhere else in New York due to drivers screwing up (or even driving at all) in the bad weather, doing far more damage overall.

I was out in that snowstorm as it was starting, and the next morning. It was not like the blizzard of 06 or any of our recent heavy snows (most of which I've experienced first hand). It had hurricane force winds at times -- the snow was blowing and drifting like crazy, much worse than '06 -- it was brutally cold, and the heaviest snow fell overnight on a holiday weekend.

I'm a long-time New Yorker. I've seen blizzards that dropped 3 feet of snow in my childhood shut the city down for a week.

I sometimes think, however, that many New Yorkers start to believe they live indoors after a while if they don't leave the city once in a while to go somewhere where you really are aware of being outside in nature.

I for one am always glad to be reminded that we are puny compared to the sky.
posted by spitbull at 6:10 PM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


that totally misses the fact that a number of city employees were probably on away on Christmas vacation

It also totally misses the fact that one effect of the trend toward right-wing ideas like privatizing services has an impact. New York City, for instance, is one city that has reduced the public payroll by employing a strategy of calling on privately owned support services in times when extra crisis support is needed. Sounds like a great idea on paper; but when it's December 26 and time to call in the private plow services for one of the five most disastrous storms in recorded history, what do you do when no one answers the phone? What do you when the private industry that you planned to turn to for the magical support of the free market does not materialize, because the owner of the business is in the Bahamas and the workers are doing whatever else they do to earn income, or just home celebrating the holidays? This isn't really their problem. And meanwhile, those in city government looking to mobilize this mythological private sector support are SOL, because they are unable to order people who aren't on their payroll to report to work, and unable to command that equipment they don't own be deployed.
posted by Miko at 6:38 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


1978, 1996, or 2006, 1947?

I'd like a more nuanced understanding too, but I lived through all of the above storms EXCEPT for 1947 as a resident of the NY metro area, and I have absolutely zero hesitation in saying that yes, this one was the worst. Not for inches of snow, but for sheer speed of snow accumulation (1-2" an hour!) and, in combination with the horrendous 60-70-mile-an-hour-winds, hostile conditions for those trying to clear snow.
posted by Miko at 6:41 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Inaction and Delays by New York as Storm Bore Down

Basically states what Miko said down there at the bottom.

And echoing what I said about budget cutbacks: Sanitation Department's slow snow cleanup was a budget protest [single page, print preview version]
posted by Eideteker at 9:48 AM on December 30, 2010


Sanitation Department's slow snow cleanup was a budget protest ...

Was NYC Snow Plow Effort Sabotaged? -- "Mayor doesn't buy argument but adds, 'We are going to do an investigation.'"
posted by ericb at 1:32 PM on December 30, 2010


I don't think it was really a protest, because conditions were about the same in New Jersey, town by town, even where there are no such labor/management disputes. Driving around today and there are still abandoned and snowed-in cars and incompletely plowed streets.
posted by Miko at 1:49 PM on December 30, 2010


"How about lifting it up right where you are and putting chains on the tires, genius?"

That's beautiful; classic New York.
posted by bwg at 4:30 AM on January 2, 2011


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