There is a long and interesting history of indoor plumbing in NYC. Up until the 1890s, most people would still be using outhouses. At that time, only the wealthiest of dwellers would have a rudimentary plumbing system. You couldn't find a real plumber in New York City during this period. For a few well-off individuals, their pipes were hooked up to a septic system. The pipes were made of wood and copper. A few generations have passed since this time, and as a city, Manhattan has come a very long way. It is said that the push to turn New York City's plumbing around was a direct result of illnesses that were attributed to people coming into contact with wastewater. One of the biggest problems of the time was cholera.
It is interesting to trace the history of these pipes. Some of the pipes that were put in with the original construction of the system are still used today. That means that there are some pipes under the streets of Manhattan that are over 100 years old. Those pipes were usually made from heavy, cast iron, but there are still some made of wood as well. The wood pipes are being removed more and more, and they are getting replaced with stronger and more durable materials like PVC. It is law that in NYC plastic of copper pipes must be used. Through private and public funding, a city wide waste removal system was established, and now we have a city that benefits from great indoor plumbing. Repairs and new installations are constantly being made to the city to improve it's over all plumbing capabilities. It is rather interesting to think about what the city would be like without working plumbing in every building, because that was the case not so long ago.
Considering that there has been such a long history of plumbing in NYC, you must assume that some of the systems and pipes going in and out of your building are old, breaking, or eroding. Highly trained professions will be able to help you no matter the age of your system (be it 50 years old or brand new). A plumber in NYC, New York should be well equipped, both in terms of tools and knowhow, to handle any and all your plumbing problems. Look for a plumber in NYC who is fully licensed and insured, and who also has experience working with older systems and pipes.