Here’s one of the more innovative uses of an abandoned fire alarm box I’ve seen, at 10th Avenue and West 21st at Guardian Angel Church in Chelsea. As a rule, New Yorkers fill such abandoned boxes with trash, but an artist has planted a gnome with a boombox in this one. For you kids, people used to take these things around and blast them at top volume, to show you were the dominant dog in the pack.

I also had no idea these call boxes were made by Norelco, perhaps more famed for electric razors.


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6 Responses to GNOMING ME, GNOMING YOU in Chelsea

  1. Gary says:


  2. Al Tz says:

    The “box” was not made by Norelco. Only the narrow frame surrounding the gnome was.

    This housing originally held a standard FDNY electro-mechanical telegraph fire alarm box. In the 1970s when the City began replacing some traditional fire boxes with the Norelco ERS (Emergency Reporting System) boxes capable of voice contact with FDNY Dispatchers or NYPD Operators, this frame was designed to allow the new type box to fit into the old housing.

  3. Robert says:

    The little guy’s even on Google Street view (now I gnow where to look)

  4. Ryan says:

    Did you see the bent telephone booth at 10th and 22nd?

  5. Joshua D says:

    There was a guy in my (now former) Pelham Parkway neighborhood that would occasionally walk down the block with a boom box on his shoulder, the last time I know of was only a couple of months ago.

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