Where do MetroCards go when they die? Since there’s no proof of MTA heaven (yet), we have to just assume they get tossed with the rest of the subway trash. How sad! Our little yellow friends that grant us access to all of the transportation New York has to offer are forgotten one by one. But not to fear, a local artist named Stephen Shaheen has re-purposed over 5,000 cards in a special way. Shaheen created a super modern bench out of the plastic cards that can hold up to three adults. The bench is reinforced with an eighth-of-an-inch steel structural frame, which is so Apple of him. But where did Shaheen get 5,000 MetroCards anyway? Craigslist, of course! It only took a week for Shaheen to get all of the cards he needed.
Shaheen used various types of glue to hold the MetroCards together: Gorilla Glue for individual cards; aquarium-grade silicone to create rows; and two-part plastic epoxy to strengthen high-tension areas (like the loops inside the wheels). Ultimately, he laminated sheets of MetroCards onto the steel frame in sections using contact cement.
Although the bench is an impressive work of art, it doesn’t look like something we’d like to sit on anytime soon. Look how “comfortable” this girl looks sitting on the bench:
Yikes! We hope not see these replacing those one-seater benches in the subway anytime soon.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 7, 2011