Hot night in the city—maybe not. New Yorkers are used to dodging the steam billowing from below the streets. Standpipes, in the busiest sections of the city, force the steam above the crowds of people and traffic that clog the streets day and night. A misunderstood icon of the streets in NYC, it is the by-product of a steam power system completed in 1882. The steam pushing skyward is the result of condensation from rain and other forms moisture coming into contact with the hot steam pipes.