In many places, merchants set up tables or stands full of goods — flowers or pumpkins or apples — and leave them unmanned, with only a small plate or jar for consumers to deposit the required amount for their purchase. Because the owners imagine that people’s sense of honor will compel them to pay, these stands are called “honor stands.” Except in New York, where they are called “part art project and part social experiment … a statement on trust and honesty in society today.” Brooklyn artist Jillian May set up such a stand bearing vegan cupcakes in Prospect Heights recently to see if Brooklynites would honor her stand. She called her experiment “Conzept Kiosk,” and it yielded surprising results!
No, not really. May found out that New Yorkers are dicks.
After hooligans broke her glass container, she started using plastic. But when she returned the next day to find the bottle melted in half and the money gone, May settled on a glass wine carafe — with an opening too small for a hand — that she hot-glued to the kiosk.
The bottle was melted in half? What, did they smoke crack off it? Next time, lady ought to try some bulletproof glass. Now there’s a statement on trust and honor in society.
The Art of Honesty [Brooklyn Paper]