City streets can be a hoot to walk down for a number of reasons. You can see famous people trying to look non-famous. You can bump head-on into one of them. Yes, I have done that a couple of times as I speed walk through the city. You can possibly get run over by a bicyclist riding on the sidewalk. You can see a pizza rat. Or rather a rat as big as a cat carrying a slice of pizza. You can also catch a cool dance troupe trying out new steps, a new musician hoping to get discovered and some great painters hoping to have their work shown at the MET. You can also see someone walking their leashed pig.
In San Francisco, you can hop away trying to avoid fecal matter. Don’t believe me? There are now poop maps for the city. Well, it was a 2014 project that was meant to be funny. But it is not so funny anymore. When I lived in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, I often had to jump urine puddles. In Los Angeles, I had to wrestle way too many chicken bones out of my dog’s mouth. Furthermore, there is an outbreak of typhus and fleas must be avoided at all costs. I know this all sounds quite unseemly. I am not trying to ruin anyone’s morning coffee and danish. I am also not trying to scare people from the big cities. I love cities. I love living in them. My love of them doesn’t make me blind to some of their idiosyncrasies. Perhaps that is putting it too nicely.
As I was getting ready to leave Los Angeles to move back to New York, I came across a funny sight. Someone had thrown out a toilet and left it on the sidewalk. My son joked around using his ten-year-old sense of humor. I took a photo of it as I found it amusing and wondered why it was still on the sidewalk. Usually, whenever you throw out any household item in Los Angeles, someone scoops it up within minutes. But that toilet stayed there a few days.
Fast forward a few months to my current stay in New York. Lo and behold someone threw out a toilet and left it on the sidewalk. However, this one had some flair to it.
Well, hello darling! I am left wondering what is the story behind this. Was a partner kicked out and this was the “dear john” letter? Was this a part of an installation art piece? Was this someone letting their landlord know they were fed up? Were they renovating the apartments giving everyone one a new toilet? It could very well be all of the above or none at all. There is always a story to be deciphered and told. My mind has been overactive trying to figure the toilet out. Where had it been and where as it going?