I have never really delved into the world of Pinterest, which seems to me to be a place where people collect images of things they want but will never have, and call it "inspiration." Sad! But while searching for a photo of a fire escape recently, I came upon a fire escape Pinterest board, and hoo boy... do you even know what people do with their fire escapes? They turn them into lush verandas, resting spots, miniature porches, little oases of their own.
This goes beyond the romance of simply dangling one's feet off a fire escape on a hot summer day in the city—it's a full transformation, an extension of one's apartment, and it can be a real gamechanger here in the land of 400-sq-ft living spaces. F*ckin' Pinterest, man.
It's not at all legal to do these wonderful things to your fire escape, as they are meant to be kept clear in the event of, you know, a fire. FDNY spokesman Frank Dwyer told us, "In short, no, plants and other items are not to permitted on fire escapes."
However, fire escapes are basically only decoration now anyway—last year, one FDNY rep declared: "Those fire escapes are going the way of the dinosaur," noting that fireproof interior stairwells are now the preferred addition for newer buildings.
These little metal ledges are something only New Yorkers could romanticize so much, and they have a long history here in the city (some people even used them as open-air bedrooms back in the day). So we want to celebrate them—have you done something magical with your fire escape? We'd like to see it. You can submit a photo to us at email@example.com (just let us know if you would like to remain anonymous).
N.B. Never go on Pinterest: