Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Strange Coin for Bums

A few months ago I found a strange object in downtown Manhattan and I have been puzzled by it and would like to learn its origins.
            I spotted it as I walked past Delmonico’s restaurant. I noticed what appeared to be an odd coin sitting on the edge of the landing.

            The coin is roughly the size of a quarter and appears to be plaster. It resembles a quarter that has been plastered over and it might be. On one side reads “Give Money,” and the other side reads, “To Bums.”

            So far I have not heeded the strange coin’s advice. Giving money to bums is a bad idea. Most of them will spend the money on drugs and alcohol and giving money to bums will only encourage them to stay bums. There are plenty of legitimate homeless charities you can give to if you want to help bums.

Underneath that is the cryptic “bw 12.”  Should I take that to mean that this was created by an artist with the initials B.W. this year?

Is this perhaps a coin created by a mysterious artist? Some anonymous artist has been handing out coins with the insistence that recipients leave one in a public place. Have I found such a coin?

If you have any clue as to the origins of this coin, please let me know.

I promise to keep the coin as an interesting work of art, and, using a broad definition of the term, assume that I’m close enough to being a bum to keep the coin in good conscience. 


Anonymous said...

I found your blog by Googling info on this coin. I found the same one (well, two actually) sitting on the base of a traffic light pole at the corner of Christie and Grand. Have you had any luck figuring out where they came from?

Matthew Sheahan said...

I have not learned of the origin, though someone else contacted me having found one in Manhattan. I'm glad to see there are more of them out there. I will stay on the case.

Anonymous said...

Found one today...Houston & Broadway...perched atop light post base