Plus! Readers explain themselves!! Weird Trash Photo #23!!!
How delightful to have seen the community fridge story from beginning to end. I loved reading the final product! Being your "research assistant" goes down as one of my coolest NYC experiences ever.
And, omg! Anne, you captured the weirdness of high-school dialogue so well! Those kids were a great way to kick off our tour.
I’m a co-founder of the fridge at S’MAC in East Village (9th st one)!! I moved so don’t work on it anymore but so happy to see it’s still being stocked. We estimated we were feeding upwards of 2000 people a week from that teeny fridge. It gets tons of donations from local bakeries, stores, and restaurants also. I’d heard about them from my research I was doing for work in food in 2019 (they originated in Germany),so we were one of the first in the city. So exciting to see how many there are now!!!
wow, this issue was jam packed and i loved every second of it! i always wanted a series of pneumatic tubes. i had no idea the ones for trash existed, or that they've existed for so long. the ones i want are for sending food - so many times someone has wanted to try something i've made, and i wish i could just send them a plate at the same time as my partner and i sit down to dinner. or maybe everyone who wants to participate has a grid of buttons in their kitchen like the trash place's control board. and if you see a button lit, that's someone who could use a meal that day, and you can put a meal in something that looks like a star trek replicator and it gets jettisoned over to them. this is what goes on in my brain.
i wish there was a way to have a community fridge right outside my apartment. i like to clean and organize and would have no problem fixing up some of these. and if they're only open for a certain time, perhaps a human presence would dissuade some of the less altruistic goings-on, or you could have limits on what each person could take. i know most volunteers have jobs, families, just Other Stuff they need to get to and can't come every day or hang around for very long. but i don't have anything going on. i just don't like to leave my house. perhaps a Random Rich Person will read this and finance my proposed operation.
i remember during the height of the pandemic there were big trucks around here that would hand out boxes of food for free. but the problem is, they just gave each person a box. i understand they didn't have time to let people pick and choose, but what is an unhoused person going to do with a gallon of milk, you know? or if it had something people didn't like or need - it's okay for people in need to have preferences! anyway, there was a lot of waste and stuff thrown on the street.
Little Free Libraries started in a little border town perhaps 15 miles from my home across the St Croix river between Minnesota and Wisconsin. They are EVERYWHERE here. Lots of them operate, at least here, as combination libraries and small food shelves. I always like when I'm walking and see a library to check it out. It's great when there is food for the taking. The map of the fridge sites was a VERY COOL use of Google Maps!
“Did you contact the pineapple directly?” 😂😂😂
Best line: “Wow, this made me love him even more. He’s not doing it for the publicity. ITS ALL ABOUT THE PINEAPPLE.”
2nd best: “F you buddy, you’re on the F, you are associated with Queens.”
3rd best: “It was Jesus Christ, with a big box of food!”
The piece about the community fridges is fun, sad, happy and reveals the worst/best of human nature; really a pack of starving dogs may be better examples of magnanimity. As Gandhi said, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.”
The principle behind the community fridges reminds me of the work that “Wavy Gravy” and the “Hog Farm collective” did feeding the multitudes at Woodstock for gratis. All the photos of the various fridges were great; the one looks like the insides of mine!
I drove through Amish country for 10 years on my commute to/from the job and they had community Ice Machines; but, of course, the Amish are ALL about community, if you don’t try to shave their beards off!
Weird Trash Heap #23 is a work of art! It should be an installation.
Lastly, I must say I am impressed by the writing abilities of everyone who comments, and of course, Anne. You all humble me.
I’m obsessed with the Chinatown segment -- squabbling teens, food scuffles, and an interesting distaste for carbonated drinks. Fascinating!!
That trash pic almost looks staged!
1. Though it sounds romantic, I have to disagree with Frank F. If the mystery is always better than the reality; you, dear Anne, would be out of work.
2. There is no PONOMA, CA but there is a POMONA which is where I grew up. Now I feel a funny obligation to also send you a surprise.
3. If you do go back to Roosevelt Island to investigate the vacuum trash collection system, please don’t forget to buy one of those Insane Asylum shot glasses for your altar!
This heartwarming, life-affirming post is food for the SOUL. A wonderful, wonderful read.
This was a delight, as always. I'm feeling particularly inspired by this week's trash. Is interviewing dumpster divers coming up in a future edition?
While efficiently run food "banks" have always been one of my prime charitable giftees, the idea of a community "fridge" convinces me only further that the road to hell is paved with outdoor restaurant sheds and modern examples of the "share culture". Of course I was fortunate enough to have only had to do the "roommate" experiment once (and for only six months), as a single, and I was never even a fan of "free sample" agents but perhaps this idea is a step above those "free store" cubby holes that always seem to not much more than unofficially sanctioned garbage dumps.
Hey, but more power to the high school volunteers!
Leon! He really is a 'Jesus' -- doing the good work of feeding the need.
Love this feature. Thank you Anne!
Love this crossover collab between two of my favorite newsletters!
I loved reading this Anne! I think you and Jillian should team up again!
Once again, a sheer delight to read. Not only are your topics fascinating, not only is the way you engage with your readers so skillful and warm, you also make me think. Ponder. Why I like to keep some things mysterious, AND appreciate the Sherlock-Holmes/sleuth spirit what wants to find out what is BEHIND the appearances, for example. BIG thank-you!