|photo: Pavel Krok|
The following quotations were found outside the entrance to Manhattan Mini Storage on l07th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam: “Raising a baby in a New York City apartment is like growing an oak tree in a thimble,” “Love means never having to say ‘I’m sorry my kickball trophy fell on the baby again,'” “material possessions won’t make you happy; maybe they will.” One wonders about the CVs of the writers of these aphorisms, as they look like the kind of thing you generally find in a fortune cookie. Do the Chinese bakeries which produce adages run training and extern programs to demonstrate how koan writing can be used in other venues and are the sayings adorning Manhattan Mini Storage a product of this? Naturally these phrases also bear some resemblance to haiku and they're not the kinds of things you usually associate with a facility where the mundane business of storing things is the matter at hand. Storage facilities are like maximum security prisons for personal items, Their stolid brick exteriors often look like them so the presence of a simile, in this case the invocation of the oak tree and the thimble (reminiscent of the serendipitous meeting of the sewing machine and umbrella on a dissecting table in Lautrement’s definition of surrealism) humanizes an antiseptic atmosphere with the presence of poetry. We’ve seen poetry in in the subways, dirty limericks on the doors of bathroom stalls and now here they're decorating a penitentiary for soon to be forgotten items.