Accidental Icon: Wandering Woman
Although I have lived in New York City for many years, the city still contains secrets and untold stories that take me by surprise. Wherever I go I have the tendency to wander, whether that be places in my mind, or real cities, streets and other geographies. On this beautiful summer day, I was roaming around Chinatown and stumbled upon an alley I had never explored. Alleys are often remnants of an older, less crowded time in the city. Interestingly, New York City does not have an abundance of alleys and the ones that do exist are located south of Canal Street. They are hidden, often subtle and part of a past that is slowly disappearing. Alleys in movies have often been portrayed as sites of danger, hangouts of criminals and places to dump their victims. Rather than being a site of treachery, the alley I found today contained secret museums and artifacts that made me reminisce and chuckle. My first pleasing moment was discovering this pair of bright blue chairs, nonchalantly adding color to the scene.
The second surprise was a very tiny museum tucked into the wall. Mmuseum is "a modern natural history museum devoted to the curation and exhibition of contemporary artifacts that illustrate the complexities of the modern world." I felt as if I had shrunk and walked into a curio box. The current exhibition, Season 4, contains 15 collections of objects and artifacts that are collected and made by individual artists interested in preserving out cultural DNA. Names of collections include: Inmate Inventions, Evolution of Coffee Lids, Handmade Shrines, Objects Removed from Peoples' Bodies and the Cornflakes Index. The inmate inventions, which were mostly very creative and pragmatic pieces of jewelry, I found particularly interesting given my passion for criminal justice, interesting statement jewelry and my recent obsession with Orange is the New Black.
My final surprise in the alley was meeting a very interesting stranger with whom I communed for a few moments: Mr. Robot. I thought we were well-suited, no?