People beg for change, people beg for cigarettes, but one Park Sloper is begging passersby to leave something creative in her bicycle basket.
On the southeast corner of Eighth Avenue and Ninth Street a bike is chained to a post. A milk crate is secured over the back wheel, and tapped to the crate is a handmade sign, which is “challenging you to leave me something obscure, unique, crazy!”
The bike owner and sign maker claims to be a “Park Slope high school student” who needs help with a school art project. The owner, who only identifies herself through her Tumblr account handle Xenokione, said that the idea to have strangers leave any object they desire in the bike basket started when she found a pink and black striped lampshade someone had left.
“People keep leaving objects in my bike basket, mostly trash, or what I saw as trash,” she writes. “Now I am looking for some help with a school art project!”
Although she did not respond to an e-mail for comment, her sign leaves directions for the kind of objects she’s looking for:
“Anything you want, personal or something you found today. Smaller is better and it can have absolutely no value—a pretty stone, acorn or flower!”
On Thursday Brian Snyder, a Ninth Street resident, saw the sign with his five-year-old daughter and she decided to contribute a drawing. So, they went home and she went to work with some crayons to draw a self-portrait of her playing in her front yard with a big airplane flying high above.
“I dig creativity and creative projects, so Madeline is sharing her own creativity back,” Snyder said while he brought Madeline, his wife and son to put the drawing in the basket. “It’s a cool stand out project in someone’s solicitation for help.”
Snyder, who is of the creative mind himself and made a children’s book and drawing app for the iPad, also admitted that Madeline will capitalize on any excuse to draw.
By the end of Thursday afternoon, the basket had a leaf, a piece of a license plate holder and Madeline’s drawing.
Another group, a man and his parents, stopped to read the sign.
“I thought it was great, a nice lengthy communiqué on the sidewalk,” said Andy Braddock, who lives in Williamsburg.
His mother, who is visiting from Ohio, was bummed she didn’t have anything to leave the creative Sloper.
“I wish I had something in my pocket,” Jane Braddock said on the corner of Eighth Avenue and Ninth Street. “We just picked leaves in the park, but they would blow away.”