It is garbage. Trash. Litter. Inexpensive single use packaging utensils and containers. A lot of it is. Add to that cigarette butts and packs and cellophane wrappers. 

He asked if I'd care to see his process. “Only take a minute” , he said.

On to the back of a cheap unfinished wooden wine box, he squeezed out some

squiggles of paint from tubes – maybe 4 or 5 colors. Then he proceeded to mush it and smush it with his fingers. As promised, he worked quickly. In something less than two minutes he said “There.”

The place would be half empty and we would make our way down to the good seats where, if we were lucky, a puck or a tooth would land nearby.

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Some folks listened to the ballgame on 'transistor radios' while some bounced from stoop to stoop and back again.

He said we had 3 ghosts. Hmmmm? He could not explain  as much as he could explain.

There is no appearance of rank other than possibly age and or the voice of experience which is real
authority. Their hands are coarse, dry and scarred.

In this 50 year interval, there has become for me an affection for the blank billboards on the train platforms, prepared by scraping with a plastering tool so to remove layers of old ads in readiness for new. Nowadays, video screens no doubt provide way higher revenues for the MTA so if you're hunting for scrapes, the 

 outer borough local stops is where the hunting is best.

Occasionally they support very large trees who's trunks you cannot get your arms around or, they may attain a height of 4 or 5 stories. Along side these solo trees, often now, the pits support fabulous little gardens tended by tenants disposed to gardening and loveliness or, are contracted out to local pro gardeners who propagate these little miracles with panache and horticultural success.