New York is one of 200 cities worldwide that participate in this annual event, in which teams of architects, designers, and contractors compete to design and build sculptures from cans of food. Afterward, the sculptures are "decanstructed" and the food is donated to charity (in New York, to City Harvest). From the most recent New York competition: "A Balanced Meal," "Hungry to the Core," and "StaTUNA of Liberty." The hand and torch, as you'd imagine, consist entirely of cans of tunafish; the apple, what's left of it, was the jurors' favorite in 2014; the pose of the seal, at least on the afternoon of my visit, was the most imitated by limber onlookers of a certain (young) age.
Canstruction The Winter Garden and 250 Vesey St., Brookfield Place, Manhattan www.SDANYC.org/canstruction (The 2014 New York exhibit was on view November 6-20; a virtual tour is still viewable online)
Fourscore pommes frites from New York restaurants have been collected and lovingly mounted for this two-day exhibit. Though sponsored by a condiment company, Sir Kensington, with aspirations of greater commercial success, this "tribute to ketchup's most beloved delivery vessel" has been curated (and annotated) with uncommon charm. The closeup shows a schmaltz fry from The Harrison, which according to recent accounts will be extinct, at least in its current habitat, by the end of the year.
"Fries of New York" 168 Bowery (at Kenmare St.), Manhattan www.Fries.SirKensingtons.com (This free exhibition concludes around dinnertime on Saturday, November 8)
On a dreary spring day when even Greenmarket produce seemed drab, the colors inside the compost bins first caught my eye. Often the food scraps are beautiful in and of themselves; see the slideshow for more from several seasons.
It's not unusual for my local market to collect, twice a week, some 1,500 pounds of household food scraps. Surely some of the food was locally grown, but, by the looks of things, more was remotely sourced, especially during the colder months. These scraps, which otherwise would end up in a landfill — food accounts for about 17 percent of New York City's waste stream, according to GrowNYC, which operates the Greenmarkets — are instead transformed into compost for use in urban farms and gardens. See how easy it is to contribute to the compost stream.
These are three in a multiethnic series surely meant to drum up future business for the neighborhood — even if the tagline, "It's all under the bridge," suggests that bygones are already bygones. Others in the series include "visit" and "play."
"Socialize" sets the silhouette of a woman against the Mexican bandera; "eat" features a man and the flag of Ecuador. "Drink," awkwardly, depicts the Irish tricolor and a woman who, at least in outline, looks rather frumpy. It so happens, though, that the slogans, the silhouettes, and the national colors can be mixed and matched, as I saw from a number of other banners nearby. My sighting of an Irish lass, coupled with the implicit lure of a Guinness, was only a coincidence.
Kingsbridge Shopping District banners Various locations near Broadway and 231st St., Bronx