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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Free Food, Washington Square Park

Free Food, Washington Sq Park
Photo by myself in Washington Square Park.

Someone left a container and a note saying 'Free Food'. The note was held down with a small branch.


When I showed the above photo to Mark, he expressed doubt that someone would actually eat the food.

'I've tried giving food to homeless guys. They turned me down!'

I have to side with Mark. The container is probably still sitting there.

However...I have noticed more acts of generosity and hopefulness during my recent walks around the city. The signs are subtle. I can't say that people are handing out wads of cash, but it's there, a genuine concern for others.

New Yorkers continue to contribute to street musicians and homeless folks on the sidewalk. We're still eating out and renovating apartments and buying fancy shoes. I have a feeling the fancy shoe shopping will be a tough habit to stop.

And we're leaving food out for those who might need it, instead of throwing it away. Maybe the food goes uneaten, but it's a gesture that's real.

Related posts: City Portrait - Washington Square Park, Worthy Causes and Homeless Man, Central Park.


anne h said...

Form and content!
It's always about the gesture, isn't it.
And cool that you noticed it!

Olivier said...

un beau geste, mais je sais pas si j'aurais confiance

Kizz said...

My success rate is probably 50%. Usually I don't leave the food out I go to someone and ask. I'm offering leftovers, though, I've never offered to buy someone a meal, which is something else to try, I guess.

Kitty said...

Thanks Anne!

Hi Olivier
I agree, a nice gesture. I wonder whether most homeless would trust it or not.

Hey Kizz!
I got a couple hotdogs once for a guy who was with his dog. It breaks my heart when I see animals out (terrible eh? People don't move me as much).

I like giving leftovers too, esp. after a night out.

Ken said...

I would be interested to know if the food is still there? Nice slice of life captured.

Terry B, Blue Kitchen said...

A thoughtful post, Kitty. We were walking down the street in Manhattan once and my daughter had more french fries from our F&B lunch than she could finish. She offered the container to a homeless guy on a corner, who accepted it gratefully. BTW, I hear that F&B is no more. That's too bad.

Kelly said...

What a lovely gesture! I agree it will probably go uneaten, but how nice to capture the random act of kindness anyway.

Such a beatiful photo!

Kelly said...


I was told the quote is from Celia in As You Like It, Act two, scene four.

Rachel B said...

Its nice to see people being nice! I have seen people eating out of the trash cans in parks and even in the train station here in Philly!

Ken Mac said...

i often get turned down by homeless people when offering food. Offered a guy a full meal the other night: "I don't want any part of that." At least he was honest while drinking himself into oblivion.

elsiee said...

years ago when I regularly traveled on business to San Francisco I would have my fancy restaurant doggy bags warmed right before leaving the restaurant and plastic flatware and napkins placed in the bag. I never had to walk very far before finding a homeless person who was happy to accept a warm meal... maybe it's a west coast thing...

khUthU said...

a kind act, urging. i believe in man once again. randomly. planets or wheels align. easy onlookers. a glance at God great will.

i took care of myself, when i care less.

Joanne said...

Lovely photo nice thought!