Thursday, June 10, 2010

Trash Talk

Greening Up Cup

Cup of the Day #29
by Gwyneth Leech, 2010
Green India ink on white Cup

The High Line Park, that extraordinary oasis atop an old elevated rail line in Chelesea, is looking lush and gorgeous right now. The plants are acclimatizing well since the park opened a year ago and it feels more and more like the urban nature preserve of many imaginations, albeit with comfortable places to sit, amazing lighting at night and spotless, litter-free walkways.

There are also lots of trash cans - not found on the old High Line of course - and giving into my trash picking artist instincts I peeked into many during my walk there the other day, doing a quick survey of the contents around noon on a weekday. Far and away, there were more cardboard coffee cups than anything else: Joe's Coffee, Ninth Street Coffee, 'Wichcraft, Starbucks, 7-11, anonymous deli cups and more.  'Wichcraft sometimes has a coffee cart up here, but not today. These are all carry in, and leave behind.

The High Line Park on a June morning, 2010 
Is it a New York City thing or is it everywhere, this walking with a coffee cup? Time was, everyone had a cigarette in mouth. I looked around - no cigarettes, but almost everyone had a cup in hand. Someone told me recently, "I love my coffee in a cardboard cup. It means I am out somewhere, doing something, on the move." It has an irresistible appeal, but doesn't it add up to an awful lot of cups? A few days later, my friend Christian sent me a photo he took during the inauguration in DC last year. Ah yes, a lot of coffee cups.

Back on the High Line, I have to admit, I couldn't resist picking out two empties: a Joe's Coffee cup in tender pale blue, and a Ninth Street Coffee cup, all-over black with a crisp white silhouette of a cup on the side. They went into my bag to be drawn on later. It's a slippery slope, this trash picking, but I took the chance.

Guest photo
Discarded coffee cups
Inauguration, DC, 2009
by Christian Smythe 

1 comment:

  1. Collecting other peoples coffee cups eh? I've sometimes wondered how "bag ladies" got started.
    Love your coffe cup decorations! And the park in your photo looks like a terrific place to wander and drink and "take" the air.