New York fire escapes. They're the retro, rusted structures that are as close to backyards as most New Yorkers will ever get (they're also where Ross and Joey had that awkward, below-the-belt moment
). And, word is we're in danger of losing them.
"Those fire escapes are going the way of the dinosaur,” FDNY spokesperson Jim Long told the New York Post
on Sunday. According to the fire department, modern, indoor, and — yes — fireproof stairwells are today's answer to a more efficient escape — and a more aesthetically pleasing facade.
Architects like Joseph Pell Lombardi
are getting a lot of heat
for capitalizing on the FDNY's anti-fire-escape position; in the near future, he'll be stripping Soho of some of its most iconic metalwork from buildings he's renovating on Greene Street. Sure, they may be part of the downtown-New-York vibe, but, as Lombardi and the FDNY point out, they can also be very heavy and difficult to use.
If we can't save our dinosaurs, the next best option is — of course — to Instagram them. In hopes that they'll keep hanging on (literally), we've rounded up 20 of New York's most intricate, oxidized, and hipster-venerated fire escapes. May these longtime cultural symbols live on (because, where else are we going to barbecue?).