New Yorker Sloane Crosley and San Franciscan Greg Larson came up with the idea for Sad Stuff on the Street -- a blog documenting the bric-a-brac normally ignored by city dwellers -- after Greg started sending Sloane his own street photos: of a raggedy toy bunny peaking out of a briefcase, a pink heart sticker on asphalt, and more. They're also soliciting submissions (their "About Us" page reads: "We want to see your sad sh*t. And we want to show you ours.") City's Best asked Sloane some questions about whether New York's sad stuff really stands out.
Which city has sadder stuff: NYC or SF?
I think San Francisco has more photographable sad stuff, but that doesn't mean more sad things exist there. It's the opposite, actually. I think [New Yorkers are] much more storied, casually depressed and amusingly melancholy as a city. There are just factors -- like weather and population density and city layout -- that make it easier to find funny/sad things in San Francisco. I also have a theory that there's less of a weirdness stigma in California when it comes to stopping to take a photograph of what is, essentially, trash. Whereas in New York, the chances of you being on the street with at least five other people at the same time are good and some of the streets that boast the greatest sadness gems are not places you'd want to stop. Either because they're shady or you're going to stop short and someone will smack into you and then you'll both be mad, not sad.
Which other cities do you tend to see the most submissions from?
There have been ones from all over the country and a few international, but you know who's falling down on the job? New Orleans. You just know that New Orleans is the sadstuffonthestreet jackpot. Speaking of which, Las Vegas needs to step up its game as well.
What's the saddest thing you've ever come upon in NYC, and what's the saddest submission you've gotten?
It's hard to pinpoint one thing. I will say I almost can't stand to look at any kind of kids' toys or baby furniture, and not in a funny way but in a straight-up-depressing way. Even if it's simply on the street because the toy is lost and will be replaced or the stroller is no longer needed because the kid who used to ride around in it grew up. It doesn't matter. It's the visual version of the famous six-word Hemingway story: Baby Shoes. For Sale. Never Used.
Is there a particular time of year when you tend to see the saddest stuff in NYC?
The blog is so new, it hasn't lived through even one season yet. But I expect a lot of sad things to appear as we head into spring. One New Yorker's spring-cleaning is another's filet mignon. Or something like that.