This small batch-in-process was strung from the supports to a canopy, which shelters the stairs leading down to a basement seafood wholesaler. Possibly the fish were being prepared in anticipation of the Year of the Rooster, whose arrival will be celebrated on January 28, 2017. In New York, I don't recall such a sight in any other season.
Here, a lunchtime food cart has left for the day. While the cart is cleaned and restocked at its commissary, several folding chairs and two wooden platforms remain on the sidewalk, chained to a signpost. The platforms allow the two women who operate the cart to step up and get a better angle on the griddle; one platform has a cutout (not visible in my photo) that serves as a chock to help hold the cart in position.
This appropriation of space is only slightly more intrusive than most, especially given the context of three newspaper boxes (which are permitted under law and seem to be comporting with all local ordinances). A fourth and smaller box, which the platforms lean on, once distributed promotional brochures (and poses a fuzzier legal case). Though the business is still a going concern, this particular box is outmoded, and in recent memory it's done nothing but take up sidewalk space and serve as a trash can with a window. The chairs and platforms, though well-worn, are at least in good working order.
The 2016 Tony Award winner for best play is set on Grand St. near Eldridge, if I heard the dialogue correctly, but the artwork outside the Helen Hayes wanders farther afield through Manhattan's Chinatown, along East Broadway especially. This photo montage is more fanciful than literal, not only for its juxtapositions but also for its hint of harmony. Onstage, during a holiday meal in a small city apartment, the fabric of a "happy family" wears thin all too quickly.
From my archives: A "white takeout carton that could feed the Chinese Army" is actually a traffic-signal box, one of dozens in Stamford, Connecticut, that have been decorated by Fairfield County artists. This order (chop suey? chow mein?) includes fortune cookies ("The best way to get where you're going is to be here now") as well as duck sauce and soy sauce (Kari-Out brand) — but, wouldn't you know, they forgot the chopsticks.