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Visualizing opium dreams through the etchings of Piranesi.


Jan. 11, 1957: The superintendent of 2001 Grand Concourse in the Bronx, Mary Sideris, swept away floodwater from a water main break in the building’s courtyard. Traffic was rerouted and the subway closed, and the break left a hole 15 feet wide and 10 feet deep. In 1980, Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman of New York’s 16th district illustrated a point about the state of New York’s water pipes using Ms. Sideris’s image alongside a letter to the editor. “In 1979 there were over 500 water main breaks in the city,” Rep. Holtzman wrote, decrying an estimated loss of 30 percent of the water that enters the system. Photo: Neal Boenzi/The New York Times