Intermission: Sad Stuff on the Street

Look at some of the saddest objects on city streets around the world, read the break-up story behind the collection, and then submit your own photos.

Among photographers (of both the pro and Instagram variety), a popular sub-genre of ruin porn is abandoned stuff on the street. Nothing conveys inevitable disillusionment, the passage of time, accidental loss, and existential despair with such allusion-rich incongruity as a stuffed teddy bear in a puddle, or crockpot still in its 1970s packaging, forlornly promising delicious no-effort meals from its new home on the curb.

Former girlfriend/boyfriend Sloane Crosley and Greg Larson recently started a blog to transition their failed long-distance relationship into friendship by sharing their appreciation for all the "Sad Stuff" they spot on the street in their respective cities. Called Sad Stuff on the Street, it is, of course, quite sad, but also quite funny. As Crosley explains,


Basically, a sad thing on the street should make you want to smile and frown simultaneously. It should tear your face apart.

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Not everything that is abandoned on the street is sad; sometimes it is just interesting or funny. Crosley and Larson have expounded on their curatorial system at amusing length, but the jist of it is, sad things on the street are like love: you just know.

That said, wanting to take an iPhone photo of the object in question is a tell-tale sign:

It's like the word that fancy arts people use when first laying eyes on a great painting. Frisson! You just found a beautiful sad thing on the street!! There's a shock of impression, a little shudder in your chest, and suddenly all that matters is taking out your iPhone and snapping a picture so you can send it to someone who will be glad to see it.

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You can browse a handful of sad things in our slideshow, visit Sad Stuff on the Street for many more, and—thrillingly!—submit your own. And, of course, we wouldn't be GOOD if we didn't remind you that despite the perverse charm and melancholy cultural commentary you create by dumping stuff on the street, we'd obviously rather you reduced, recycled, re-used, and generally cleaned up after yourself instead.

All images and captions via Sad Stuff on the Street. Thanks for the link, Alex.

Slideshows

He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He risked his life to leave a "historical record of our martyrdom."

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw.

Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

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via Imgur

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Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape www.youtube.com

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Creative Commons

National Tell a Joke Day dates back to 1944 when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was having a meeting with Vice-President, Henry Wallace. The two men were tired and depressed due to the stress caused by leading a country through world war.

During a lull in the meeting, Wallace said, "Frank, to cheer you up I have a joke I'd like to share."

"Let's have it, Henry," Roosevelt replied while ashing his cigarette.

"Why did the chicken cross the road?" Wallace asked. "Not sure," Roosevelt replied.

"To get to the other side," Wallace responded.

Roosevelt laughed so hard that the bourbon he was drinking sprayed out of his nose and onto the floor of the oval office.

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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The Appalachian Beekeeping Collective trains coal miners and other low-income residents in mining communities to keep bees. Some coal miners are getting retrained to work in the tech industry, however beekeeping allows coal miners to continue to work in a job that requires a similar skill set. "The older folks want to get back to work, but mining is never going to be like it was in the '60s and '70s, and there is nothing to fall back on, no other big industries here, so all of these folks need retraining," former coal miner James Scyphers told NPR. "Beekeeping is hands-on work, like mining, and requires on-the-job training. You need a good work ethic for both."

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