rainy day, bright idea

We’re having a string of rainy days here in NYC. Of course we need the rain – the street trees need it, the urban gardens need it, the reservoirs upstate need it. But there’s a phenomenon that occurs every time it rains here. And I’m not talking about the trashy run-off that pollutes the waterways. I’m talking about the broken umbrella pandemic.

I’d guess that for every rainy day we have, there are hundreds of umbrellas abandoned. They litter the sidewalks and streets, they fill the trash cans, they even end up in the gutter. All I can do is shake my head as I pass all of that wasted metal, nylon, polyester, and even wood.

Or can I do something about it?

Every time it rains here, an opportunity is overlooked.

After the storm, couldn’t someone (or a bunch of someones) go around collecting all of this neglected material and do something with it?

I know of a shop that once lived in Park Slope (ai ai gasa) that makes clothing out of old umbrella material. Here’s a recipe for making an umbrella skirt from RePlayGround (via Treehugger and ReadyMade).

How about the metal parts? Maybe someone could make a chandelier with the frame, string some LEDs (like Kenzan Tsutakawa-Chinn) or wire up some bulbs a la Rody Graumans.

Any other bright ideas for ol’ broken umbrellas?

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