UPDATE: City Finally Removes Abandoned Car That Anonymous Greenpointer Turned into Art Statement

An abandoned car turned art project on Huron Street. Photo: Julianne Cuba.
An abandoned car turned art project on Huron Street. Photo: Julianne Cuba.

An abandoned car is an eyesore — unless it’s art!

A Greenpoint street artist got so fed up with an abandoned car parked on a local street that she turned the decaying chunk of metal into a statement — directed at the city for failing to do its job. 

The artist, who runs the blog New York Shitty, told Streetsblog that she just wants the city to come haul away the eyesore, which had been parked without any wheels in front of a laundromat on Huron Street for at least a month before it was finally later removed by the Department of Sanitation after an earlier version of this story was posted.

“Blast it on the Internet and shame the city into doing its damned job,” the artist said.

But if neither the NYPD — which tickets and is responsible for removing illegally parked cars, or so it claims— or the Department of Sanitation — which is responsible for towing derelict cars such as ones with no plates — are capable of doing their jobs, then the eyesore should at least be turned into an art project.

“When is a stripped, abandoned car that’s been left on the street for over a month not a stripped, abandoned car that’s been left on the street for over a month?” the blogger wrote. “When it is called art!”

The woman behind New York Shitty emblazoned the graffiti-filled car with a plaque similar to ones found next to actual sculptures and paintings in museums.

“NYPD & Unknown Artists, Two Tired, 2019. Mixed Media. Gifted to the Greenpoint community courtesy of unknown benefactor, apathy and chronic ineptitude,” the caption says.

One woman turned this abandoned car into art. Photo: Julianne Cuba.
One woman turned this abandoned car into art. Photo: Julianne Cuba.

 

Neither New York’s Finest or New York’s Strongest have the best track record of fulfilling their duties of removing abandoned cars from the street, whether they have license plates on them or not.

Streetsblog documented back in April how the NYPD doesn’t actually respond to illegally parked cars to remove or ticket them, despite claiming it does.

DSNY said it removed the vehicle Wednesday morning, after Streetsblog’s initial story had been posted. A spokeswoman said the agency tried twice before to remove the car but on the first attempt it was not at the location and on the second attempt, the owner had appeared and claimed it.

  • MotoBX

    If this were a motorcycle with an inspection sticker that’s lapsed by a single day, it would be gone within 4 hours. The NYPD hates everything that doesn’t sit on 4 wheels.

  • Frank Kotter

    We salute your tenacity to focus on an obscure single issue within the realm of transportation policy and planning but your continual martyrdom complex is both unpersuasive and tiring.

    I rode a GS 650 L in NYC off and on for three years (two of those without even bothering to register the thing) and never once even got a look from NYPD.

  • Andy Gilbert

    I’m happy that you personally didn’t experience any harassment from the police while riding. Doesn’t mean it never happens. Nothing wrong with having a single commenter here to point out the motorcyclist perspective!

  • Clever, amusing, and incisive, but will fly clear over the heads of anyone implicated by it.

  • MotoBX

    Nice to encounter a fellow rider. Happy that you’re not out there advocating for us.

  • Nicholas L

    The good news is more junk cars mean fewer places to invite car drivers to park and reduced street width slows drivers.

    Call 311 or use the app and take pictures otherwise, call council if needed otherwise.

  • Bluewndrpwrmlk

    https://portal.311.nyc.gov/article/?kanumber=KA-02130

    311 link to report abandoned vehicles. With tags, NYPD responds. With no tags, DSNY responds.

  • 6SJ7

    The car in the photo is tagged for pickup by the DSNY. Note the yellow sticker near the rear window and the date ‘7-23-19’ written across the vehicle.

  • Frank Kotter

    Harassment from police? Sure. Above average because of being on a motorcycle? Good luck with that.

    We motorcycle riders are not some sort of a persecuted class. Taking this position is childish.

  • MotoBX

    Pointing out biased enforcement policies is hardly childish. It’s plainly obvious that if it has four wheels, it can remain on the street without plates for weeks. In fact, it must be noted and remain for >7 days before it can be towed (hence the date scrawled on the vehicle). Motorcycles don’t get this privilege.

    You don’t see any Jalopnik articles talking about how to handle yourself when you encounter a checkpoint in your car, but there is this:

    https://www.revzilla.com/common-tread/video-how-to-handle-nys-motorcycle-checkpoints

  • Andy Gilbert

    Why do you care so much about tearing someone else down who’s trying to support an issue they care about? Motorcyclists are harassed by the police in NYC, that’s a fact. The fact that other groups are also harassed and may have it worse doesn’t means we can’t complain about what happens to riders too.

    I would hazard a guess that 99% of people who read Streetsblog are unaware of the fact that the NYPD completely block major roads every single day in order to entrap motorcyclists into lane filtering so that they can write them tickets in the name of “safety”. Alternatively, they will just walk straight into traffic in front of motorcyclists and pull them to the side of the road even when they haven’t committed a traffic violation to “check their papers.”

    Nothing wrong with someone who’s dedicated to sharing that information with people.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/nyc/comments/clp9sg/this_is_the_way_nypd_performs_safety_checkpoints/

  • Joe Mama

    God forbid any of the possibly dozens of NYPD and DSNY employees who pass through there every day actually take fifteen seconds to report an abandoned vehicle. So sick of the “not my problem” mindset which seems to be endemic to our public “servants.”

  • Joe R.

    I’m glad MotoBX is focusing on this issue. I’ve never ridden a motorcycle, or had a motorcycle license, so I was totally unaware of the way the NYPD treats motorcyclists. Any allies we can get to provide more evidence of how screwed up the NYPD really are is welcome.

    There’s also a good livable streets reason for effecting change in this area. Motorcycles and scooters provide one answer on how to make cities more pleasant places to live in. If even half the people driving cars were on motorcycles or scooters instead, we wouldn’t have a congestion problem. Moreover, these vehicles are far more easily electrified than regular cars. The grid is capable of handling a few million electric motorcycles or scooters in NYC. I doubt the same is true of a few million electric cars.

  • MotoBX

    Appreciate the support. Nice to find common ground.

    Minor addition, according to multiple studies, if JUST 10% of car drivers switched to motorcycles/scooters, we’d see a 40% reduction in congestion. I can’t remember the exact threshold but I believe at only 25%, we theoretically wouldn’t have congestion.

    https://medium.com/@motorocking/11-52-toll-to-ride-your-scooter-or-motorcycle-into-manhattan-2fb703433648

  • Larry Littlefield

    At this point abandoned bikes taking up bike racks are more of a problem for me.

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