ISSN : 2266-6060

Urban Furniture


One can imagine that in the past kids used to hand them out downtown, shouting out the latest news. Nowadays, in New York, and since at least twenty years, newspapers have nor voice neither face, but a pretty box. Some have a red one as the Village Voice, others a green box as The Apple Parent, blue as the New York Times, green for the gay press. Some are free, some not, some are daily other monthly. Also, after the 15th day of the month, it happens that the content of the ‘writing box’ is completely different: a can of soda, some leftover pizza… For unfamiliar folks, finding ones way through such a series of colored boxes is not simple. There is no text to read, but a selected, hierarchical, identifying code.

Waiting for the bus, the tourist would have fun watching the actual users of this complex apparatus and their ways. He would firstly observe a man in a hurry, fifty-years-old with self-assurance, a real new-yorker who inserts his quarters without any hesitation in the box of the most serious of the newspaper. Then he would see a mother with her stroller who, without batting an eyelid, would take the journal of the Village’s crazy nights. Or a homeless who would take a free printed paper to pack his bottle. And then no one, for long minutes… Not a soul anymore: pieces of writing alone, without readers. The young man with his iPhone would not even notice them.

The bus not being there yet, the tourist would go to the box of the free cultural journal he would have spotted, he would take the piece of paper and would begin to read. He would search for an article, but he would quickly give up. This town is definitively a movie theater: walk-on writings.

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