Somehow, I find these the gum stains captivating. I wonder about the nature of the transformation from a wad of discarded gum to the blackish, slightly raised, 2-3 cm sidewalk stain. Is the coloration all grime, or is there a chemical transformation?
And the permanence of these stains. A one-time tourist spits out their Juicy Fruit in Times Square and they just may leave a permanent mark on NYC.
It is also a marvel how many gum stains you find in heavily trafficked areas. The sidewalk segments are about 4’ X 4’. In some places there are easily more than 500 stains per sidewalk segment. Which brings me to the OP. Will the unrivalled parallel computing brain trust of The Masses assist me in estimating the total number of gum stains on Manhattan’s sidewalks?
All that’s necessary to make this dream a reality is the total surface area of Manhattan’s sidewalks and the average gum stain density per unit area for the borough. It almost sounds too easy.
There is something to be said in this context about Singapore, where chewing gum is against the law.
Perhaps archeologists of the future will look at NYC pavements and think it a great thing that the builders went to the trouble to put rubbery non-slip-grip bumps on the sidewalks for the safety of pedestrians.
As to the OP, I must opine that NYC has the most such stains of anyplace I have ever seen, by far and away. And it’s friggin’ disgusting.
Next time I’m in NYC, which would actually be the first time, I will purposely spit out some gum, and mark the coordinates with a GPS receiver. Then 20 years later I will return to see if my contribution is still there!
Don’t gum spitters realize they are in the same league as pooper-non-scoopers? They should all be captured and dropped in a neck-high bubbling vat of their respective discarded goop until they learn their lesson.
Incidentally, as a rule, the sidewalk squares in NYC measure 5’ x 5’ (not 4’). That knowledge comes in handy when parking near a hydrant – if you can clear 3 squares you’re golden.