2005_06_garbage2.jpgReader's Digest says that New York City is the second dirtiest big city in the country, which Chicago winning honors for dirtiest. Besides the fact that few people who actually read Reader's Digest actually live in NYC and care what the writers of Reader's Digest think, but the Daily News made sure to get the Department of Sanitation's reaction. Which was "It's a silly report," and a Department of Sanitation spokeswoman said that 91.1% NYC streets are "acceptably" clean these days. But clearly, "acceptably clean," which few scraps can be on the ground is not clean enough. NYC probably ranked lower because of the dog poop on the ground - even cartoons of garbage cans can't stop that. The Daily News helpfully points out "Hippie-dippy Portland, with a population of 529,000, won the title of most pristine, followed by San Jose, Calif., Buffalo and Columbus. San Francisco - where politicians wrangle over the right of the homeless to defecate in public - placed fifth." Gothamist, for one, isn't perturbed by this study, but we are affronted when we see Hollywood backlots substituting as New York streets, because backlots never have that necessary layer of grime. Sure, litter is annoying, but you kind of expect some urban detritus in your day.

A helpful reader once pointed out a form where you can request a litter basket for your street corner. And NYC probably has one of the dirtiest subways in the country as well.