What’s Beneath?

As you walk on asphalt, concrete, or stone, you take it for granted that there is solid ground beneath your feet. Not in the city. Seeing this man guarding an open manhole while his colleague was working in the bowels of the Dearborn St, deep under the surface only reminded that solid ground under my feet is often just a facade and a maze of tunnels and basements lies beneath.

It always boggled my mind how it was possible, that many sidewalks outside of Chicago’s high-rise buildings would be free of ice or snow while there would be snow everywhere else. As it turns out, those sidewalks are ceilings of basements adjacent to these buildings, which serves a dual purpose – gives these buildings more square footage and the residual heat warms up these sidewalks enough to keep ice and snow away. Knowing that instead of pounding my feet on solid ground I might be walking above someone’s office desk makes me almost want to tip toe… 🙂

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