New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Titillation of the Day

Recently, one of my employees had her wallet stolen by a pickpocket in the subway system (she concluded it was not lost by the various details concerning her bag). She called and had to rendezvous with me to borrow money to return home. She is now in the process of canceling and replacing her credit cards, drivers license, and other critically important documents and cards.

To lose things of importance is a tremendous inconvenience, not to mention replacement cost. Anyone who has lost a wallet can attest to this. And unfortunately, the prospect of return is grim - where is one to look?

I don't trust others to handle finding the owner of a lost article in a timely fashion. By timely, I mean with a sense of real urgency. After all, the person losing an article, particularly ID and credit cards, needs to know the status as soon as possible. Otherwise, unnecessary efforts will be made. Nearly all will make the assumption that anything lost, is lost forever. This is why, on a number of occasions, I have turned the return of a lost item into a minor obsession - you can read my story about a lost, found and returned driver's license and the owner, Nicole Dubuc. See Area Code 714, Part 1 here and Area Code 714, Part 2 here.

On December 26, 2008, in a story called Lost and Found, I told of my experience in Paris, where lost articles were often repositioned prominently in near where it was found, in hopes the original owner will return via that route and find it. Since that time, I have noticed this practice on the streets of New York City. It may come as somewhat surprising, but the more aware you are of this practice, the more likely you will notice it.

I wish there was a better way to handle lost and found articles - a definitive, universally known and utilized place and system. There are a number of New York City lost and found websites and also labeling systems, which, of course, require advance preventive action. However, unless the whole endeavor is centralized and reaches critical mass, most will never use any lost and found.

On Monday, March 14th, at the Astor Place train station, I was very surprised and pleased to see one high heel shoe prominently placed in the window of the token booth. I assumed this was a lost shoe being displayed for its owner and not the New York City Transit Authority's foray into a new program - Titillation of the Day :)


Naomid said...

I'm really bummed that the thief didn't ditch the wallet somewhere public, and or that no one has offered to return my wallet. Keep the cash. Whatever.

I want the baby pictures of my nephew, library cards, and student id I've carried for 12 years back, please.

No questions asked. Send to po box address on my business card in the wallet.

Sue Kendi said...

Great photo! Looks like something very interesting is going on inside that booth...use next window?!
I actually lost my shoe once at the Union Square subway station. While I was wearing it!! OK, so I had a bad mosquito bite on my ankle, it was summer. I was waiting for the train and like all New Yorkers on their way to work, I had no patience and started to peer a tad over the track while I tried to see if the train was coming. Suddenly this mosquito bite started to itch like crazy and I just lifted my foot up to scratch the other leg with the edge of my shoe and the shoe fell off and yep, it went over the edge and onto the track! I was mortified. I had to hop on one foot to get to the subway office upstairs and they told me I had to wait for a track worker to come by. I waited over an hour until some very brave subway worker just jumped down onto the track and retrieved my shoe for me! I never did wear that shoe again. I just didn't trust what germs had already hit it. I thanked that wonderful man and hobbled all the way home to change into a different pair of shoes. No one at work believed my story! And my boss was really mad I was so late. This was before cell phones.

time traveler said...

Naomid--Hope someone finds your things and returns them in rapid fashion--same thing happened to my better half--what a parade of hassels to go through..
To Sue,,I was wondering how someone could lose a shoe (presuming they were wearing them)..Thanks for explaining..The shoe Brian has in his photo says(to me anyway)much about the woman who lost it..She had a certain air about her-sure of herself-attractive-kind of alluring..She may have been a modern day Ciderrella rushing home before the appointed hour??

Leslie said...

I have been incredibly blessed to have had my misplaced wallet returned...twice. I have also found an Aussie's AmEx card, called the company, and was able to get a hold of the man's son only a mile north. The visitor was still in NYC, and I was given a bottle of Australian wine as a thank you. It just feels good to be able to do a simple, good deed. :-)

merleneshedlock said...

very good faux pa , very sharp, i highly recommend this shot as finding different themes running parallel. bravo