Sometimes you just say hmmm

I’m seeing New York streets these days through the filter of someone who is thinking about maybe moving out of the city.  This filter means that everything seems a little sharper, for both good and ill: the wads of dead gum are darker and more disgusting; the joy of being able to find anything I want within a six-block radius more exhilarating.

One of New York’s chief pleasures, for me at least, is what I see while I walk around, and today on my way to an eight AM yoga class (let me say that again: EIGHT AM YOGA, people), I had two of those New York moments that aren’t “aha” moments but  “hmm” moments.

The first is a sign for Vitamin Water, part of their new ad campaign, which I imagine some newly graduated media studies major pitched as edgy and urban. I’m not sure this particular sign is either of those things. In fact, if I lived in Chelsea, it might just piss me off:


The other puzzlement wasn’t an ad, wasn’t edgy at all, really, but was definitely urban. Could become a prop in one of those continuing ed creative writing courses, you know, write the story of how this photo came to be:


After I took this picture, I wondered if I was myself being photographed, if someone had perhaps set these shoes just so on the snowbank to see if anyone would stop. Maybe the whole thing was a setup.

But maybe not. Maybe clown shoes in the snow were just to remind me that the city’s gifts can be found in unexpected places.