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Street Tucker: leftovers from the streets of New York
July 5, 2012 10:44 AM   Subscribe

Street Tucker: leftovers from the streets of New York City
posted by Brandon Blatcher (31 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh man, I knew there would be at least a few that looked like barfs. DID NOT WANT.

The can of beans in the snow was inexplicably hilarious, though.
posted by elizardbits at 10:48 AM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


every one of these photos feels like a flash fiction prompt.
posted by The Whelk at 10:50 AM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Former girl friend and I had a huge disagreement on 1st or 2nd date about what to do with the leftovers from dinner. I wanted to toss them in garbage because we were going out drinking and would never eat them. She wanted to leave them somewhere accessible in case a homeless person needed it. Ended up leaving it on top of a mailbox. Kung Pao Chicken on top of mailbox would have fit right in here. I never think about the girl, but I do think about what happened to the KPC.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:51 AM on July 5, 2012


A friend and I were at a bodega in the East Village a few years back, getting snacks:

"I'm going to get pork rinds."
"Don't get pork rinds, dude, they're disgusting."
"What? It's deep-fried pork. How can that possibly be bad?"

GRIPHUS purchases 25c bag of pork rinds and digs in.

"Oh, these are disgusting."
"What did I tell you?"
"Whatever. You want the rest of them?"
"Yeah."

GRIPHUS gives FRIEND the bag.

FRIEND proceeds to walk directly behind GRIPHUS for a city block, chucking individual rinds at the back of his head until the bag was empty, leaving a conspicuous trail of pork rinds up 3rd Ave.
posted by griphus at 10:52 AM on July 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


Just a normal day, walking down the street with a gian roasted sweet potato in your pocket...
posted by snorkmaiden at 10:55 AM on July 5, 2012


This may be premature but I blame this all on food trucks.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:56 AM on July 5, 2012


I have seriously done that during the winter.
posted by elizardbits at 10:56 AM on July 5, 2012


leaving a conspicuous trail of pork rinds up 3rd Ave.

GRIPHUS becomes a minor folk deity amongst the PIGEONS
posted by The Whelk at 10:56 AM on July 5, 2012 [13 favorites]


Blerg, hit post too soon - my dutch nanny used to bundle me up to school with a baked potato in my pockets for warmth, like we weren't just going a couple of blocks to the toasty subway.
posted by elizardbits at 10:57 AM on July 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


my dutch nanny used to bundle me up to school with a baked potato in my pockets for warmth...

That's actually brilliant, have to remember it if I'm ever foolish enough to again live in a place that gets snow.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:00 AM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is roughly zero chance a homeless person will wander by, see it and decide to eat random stuff they found on the street. All it does is attract rats. And someone, probably non-homeless has to clean it up.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:02 AM on July 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love this project. I can relate. I've spent the past five years photographing wads of hair I find in the streets and on buses and trains. It's super fascinating to me, the sheer number of hairballs and stray extensions there are floating around the city, and I find it odd that I never hear people talking about it!

One time I passed a woman who was on her knees getting a shot of a stray, highly decorated, fake fingernail, hissing "Yesssssss!" I sincerely regret that I didn't get her info so that I could see her collection. I totally, totally understood that hiss.
posted by heyho at 11:05 AM on July 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


Plus then you have elevenses all ready to go.
posted by elizardbits at 11:05 AM on July 5, 2012


Homeless guy takes a wrapped hotdog from the top of the trash bin. Unwraps it and takes a bite, "Yuch! Tofu!" Throws it into the street.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:10 AM on July 5, 2012


Oh, a litterblog.
posted by jonmc at 11:39 AM on July 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


There is roughly zero chance a homeless person will wander by, see it and decide to eat random stuff they found on the street.

Maybe I should change my user name to zerochance or something.

More than once I've found the unwanted remains of someone's food bank trip - generally some canned goods, a bag of rice or pasta, maybe a few potatoes or onions - and I've happily taken them home.

I've also seen people leave out restaurant leftover cartons and they're usually gone within minutes and eaten by someone homeless.
posted by loquacious at 12:32 PM on July 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


This reminds me of when we had just moved to Fresno. One day I was driving home from work and noticed an orange sitting in the gutter. "Who threw out a perfectly good orange?" I thought to myself. The next day I saw it again and looked up...and noticed an orange tree.

In my defense, I hadn't previously lived anywhere that supermarket-type fruit falling from trees was a common sight.
posted by jocelmeow at 12:59 PM on July 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is he/she not eating the food? What up with that?

I thought this was another "hey, there's one more project I don't have to do" but ... no.

I can't be the only person who eats leftover food from people's dinner tables at restaurants, am I?

There is roughly zero chance a homeless person will wander by, see it and decide to eat random stuff they found on the street.

Yeah, that's ridiculous. If you have good leftovers in a reasonable package in the right location (e.g. downtown), they are gone in minutes.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:17 PM on July 5, 2012


It's super fascinating to me, the sheer number of hairballs and stray extensions there are floating around the city, and I find it odd that I never hear people talking about it!

There are also rats and used condoms if you need a next project.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:18 PM on July 5, 2012


Most of the condoms I see are still in their bright little packages (there are bowls of free condoms all over my 'hood), and of course I photograph them! Don't be silly.

Rats? Meh, rats are as common as people.
posted by heyho at 1:27 PM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, a litterblog.

I've actually thought about that project too. I would call it "Imaginative Properties of Actual Street Meals" and feature photos of the wrappers/containers/cups/detritus from someone eating on the street then leaving all her trash behind.

My first entry was titled "The McRib and The Club Vodka Martini on 2nd St." but that's as far as I got....
posted by mrgrimm at 1:28 PM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't be the only person who eats leftover food from people's dinner tables at restaurants, am I?

Is your name Garrett? One of my friends had a roommate who did that. He'd come to the restaurant with you, and if you wouldn't buy him something he'd scavenge food from nearby tables until he thought you were ready to share your plate with him. If none of those options were working, he'd stop passing busboys and say, "You're not going to throw that out, are you?"

Which is sort of admirable in a way. No, you can't have my baked potato.
posted by sneebler at 1:49 PM on July 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


According to the Agriculture Department, each year Americans toss more than 25 percent, of all domestically produced food. The street food is probably a tiny fraction, more interesting would be the dumpsters behind restaurants, grocery stores. With the power outages recently, the landfills will see a pulse of methane in a few years.
posted by stbalbach at 1:52 PM on July 5, 2012


my dutch nanny used to bundle me up to school with a baked potato in my pockets for warmth, like we weren't just going a couple of blocks to the toasty subway.

They had subways in the Henry James novel you were raised in?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:14 PM on July 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dude I have an elevator operator named Mario, we all live in alternate universes.
posted by The Whelk at 3:17 PM on July 5, 2012


Yay, pictures of garbage!
posted by gjc at 3:39 PM on July 5, 2012


Eating other people's leftovers was the subject of a late-night conversation with some friends a few days ago. I have several well-raised, never poor friends who will eat after strangers. Case in point: what prompted this conversation was an open bottle of beer sitting on the table outside a bar. Friend observed the bottle for about half an hour, then drank it. Apparently this is common for this and several other of my friends.

I don't have the squeamish problem of eating after people I know like some people do, but eating food or drinking beverages after a stranger? I have too high of a squick alarm to do that.

I imagine that if I were in need, that would change, though.
posted by Night_owl at 8:01 PM on July 5, 2012


stbalbach: "According to the Agriculture Department, each year Americans toss more than 25 percent, of all domestically produced food. The street food is probably a tiny fraction, more interesting would be the dumpsters behind restaurants, grocery stores. With the power outages recently, the landfills will see a pulse of methane in a few years."

People eat at least some of that food, unless it's in locked dumpsters or behind barbed wire or something. I find that to be one of the most interesting things about our throwaway culture. In fact, my sister works at a grocery store, and she brought home the other day several boxes of food that had been covered in ice in her store freezer, and were unsaleable, but perfectly good to eat. It irritates me that there is so much nastiness in people that they can't just give that stuff away rather than throwing it out.

Are there any good dumpster diving blogs out there?
posted by Night_owl at 8:04 PM on July 5, 2012


It irritates me that there is so much nastiness in people that they can't just give that stuff away rather than throwing it out.

I was under (maybe a mistaken) impression that sometimes it's because stores are scared of getting sued if people get sick and then blame the food for it?
posted by FJT at 10:12 AM on July 6, 2012


That's what I mean. You get free food, and you get sick, and your inclination is to sue the people who fed you? Terrible.
posted by Night_owl at 7:23 PM on July 6, 2012


I can't be the only person who eats leftover food from people's dinner tables at restaurants, am I?

Is your name Garrett?


It is not, but I will take it as a nickname. Thanks! Are you going to eat that?

I've actually had people at other tables in restaurants give me their food.

he'd stop passing busboys and say, "You're not going to throw that out, are you?"

... but that's a good one.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:51 AM on July 9, 2012


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