Thursday, December 22, 2011


Pedestretarian contributor Willie Fitzgerald found this pear core and can of “Pet Pride Good n’ Meaty” dog food outside Porchlight Espresso. They had been placed on one of two black wooden boxes near door of the café like slime-covered and slime-filled candles on an altar. Willie says neither of these objects smelled, though he prodded the pear core and found it to be “moist” and “kinda gross.” While fruit cores are left in all sorts of places year-round, the can of dog food was puzzling, especially outside of the warm “discarded food season” when people throw half-eaten hot dogs and pizza slices around like rice at a wedding. According to Willie there was no indication of why the pear core and dog food were on the box, and “sadomasochism is a possibility, as is astral flux.” Because there is no one in the photo naked and covered with can-shaped bruises, the most likely explanation seems to be that someone ate the pear and then was too full to eat the dog food.

If you find food on the street, send location and description to

Friday, October 14, 2011


Pedestretarian contributor Baiju Prafulkumar Bhatt found this food item resting on top of a corduroy jacket in a Brooklyn neighborhood inhabited mainly by a mixture of “old Polish families and twenty-something recently graduated liberal arts majors.” Baiju says the dish, which was accompanied by a mostly empty, melting iced coffee, looked like a “moist, bready substance,” possibly a Reuben sandwich, topped with cheese. Poking at it with a fork made him curious and hungry enough to take a bite, revealing that the dish was in fact something resembling marble cake. The cake tasted of vanilla and chocolate, and the substance blanketing it was a cheese with a “spicy, Southwestern twang” Baiju believes was jack. He speculated that the cake/cheese was a “KFC Famous Bowl” style concoction, and noted that the cheese was melting visibly in the morning heat.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Pedestretarian contributor Web Crowell found this bagel sandwich on Denny and Olive at 4: 37 PM. It was lying under a bike rack outside the Bus Stop bar, wrapped in cellophane and completely uneaten. Its neon-orange price tag read “1.75.” The sandwich’s wrapping was covered in droplets of what was hopefully rainwater by the time I retrieved it at 10: 32 PM. The sidewalk around the sandwich was scattered with enough cigarette butts to make me wonder if its owner had quit smoking and eating bagels simultaneously and hurled the sandwich out of their car along with their ash tray. The Bus Stop was empty except for a bartender and one patron, who both watched as I shook the water off the bagel and put it into my bag with expressions which seemed equally likely to mean “I was going to eat that,” and “Someone’s taking the roofie bagel.” Tasting it in the privacy of my living room revealed that it was not in fact a roofie bagel, but poppy and sunflower seed, with a thin cracked rectangle of cold, slightly dry cream cheese between its sliced halves. It tasted of the sidewalk in the same way old ice cream can taste of the freezer. The following night my roommate added hummus, avocado slices and a fried egg to the sandwich, which improved it drastically. We ate the whole thing, with beet and goat cheese salad.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011


The complete lack of even shattered remains of a bottle make this milk appear to have spilled in a violent and unusual way, like that lava lamp that exploded and killed its owner because he put it on a stovetop to make the blobs go faster. Pedestretarian contributor Kelly O did not report any corpses nearby, so either the corpses had been removed or the milk bottle had been recycled. Kelly noted that the milk had no smell, and that there was a large amount of milk, probably a whole bottle. It called to mind a time a bottle of olive oil fell out of my bag in South Lake Union, causing me to yell “shit bag” loudly enough to startle a group of Amazon employees. While profanity did alarm people around me, had I stood there sobbing, they would have assumed I had “emotional problems,” or perhaps that I was “schizophrenic.” We are probably warned against crying over spilled milk in order to avoid these labels. “The milk was a nice reminder not to be a crybaby,” said Kelly, “No use being a crybaby.”

If you find food on the street, send location and description to

Monday, May 30, 2011


This onion was mostly hidden under a parked car on Eastlake outside the Mars Bar. It seemed intact except for a missing patch of papery outer skin. This exposed spot was whitish-yellow and embedded with tiny gray rocks from the pavement. Juice leaked from the punctures. An ambulance was parked next door with lights flashing and I imagined someone had dropped the onion because they were having a stroke. From then on I thought of it as the “Stroke Onion.” I imagined the onion’s former owner as a Russian peasant like the ones in old movies like The Battleship Potemkin.I always picture disasters as being very bizarre or dramatic and when I witness them sometimes the most horrifying thing is that they appear insignificant in comparison to the way I imagined them. The idea of an old Russian lady being rushed away in an ambulance while her new onion rolled under a car was so depressing I decided to make the Stroke Onion into the most cheerful dish I could think of, which was a stir fry. I sliced up about a third of the onion and sautéed it in olive oil, then added chopped bell pepper, asparagus, broccoli, and tofu. I seasoned the stir fry with soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, and rice vinegar. I added chopped zucchini last so it wouldn’t get mushy. The sauce-saturated onion slices covered the vegetables that couldn’t be cooked long enough to absorb flavor. I wrapped what remained of it up for future dinners.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


The corner of Pine and Pike Place is ghostly and magical on a May evening, like a single jelly bean left in a bag because no one knows what flavor it is, discarded on an ancient burial ground. Pike Place Market closes at 6 PM and some tourists are still wandering between Post alley bars in the fading blue daylight. At this hour of the day, in the absence of flavored honey and Pike Place Fish’s airborne fish corpses, Pike Place Market’s popularity with tourists seems even more arbitrary than usual. It looks the same as any brick or cobblestone street in town that was built on a foundation of hundred-year-old garbage and toilets that all overflowed simultaneously when the tide came in, but with a few remnants of the day’s business, like this shriveled banana pepper. It was near a produce stand that was enclosed in after-hours plastic. There was something sinister about it, lying withered on the cobblestones in near-darkness. I expected it to be intensely spicy, but the piece I shaved off with a pair of scissors tasted just like a raisin. Leathery, sweet and mysteriously not spicy, a shred of this pepper was the perfect thing to eat on a street deserted except for a few people who had travelled thousands of miles to watch someone throw fish.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011


Boren is so steep southbound traffic looks as if it’s dropping off the roofs of nearby apartment buildings, and this apple on Pine and Boren had shattered with such force it appeared to have fallen from at least that height. It was actually unclear whether it was one apple or two. Irregular chunks of apple littered the sidewalk, turning a glossy brown from what had probably been a day or two of exposure to the elements. The chunks were covered in narrow grooves that could have been carved by impact with the pavement or by a hungry rat or pigeon. The apple seemed so exposed on the bare stretch of sidewalk, cars rushing past it, it made me feel more exposed the longer I looked at it. A young couple carrying grocery bags from Whole Foods walked by and I stepped out of their way, avoiding eye contact. The apple looked as if it had been stared at since the sidewalk was paved, though the lack of mold proved it couldn’t have been there more than a couple of days. My increasing feelings of conspicuousness and my own lack of mold made me identify with the apple to such an extent that when I ate a piece of it, carved carefully out of the center of the biggest chunk, it felt like an act of cannibalism. It was warm from the sun and slightly too sweet, with a faint taste of decay. It was probably a honeycrisp apple.

If you find food on the street, send location and description to

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Countless things have been have been put in this mailbox on 12th and Howell—utility payments, seasonal postcards, letters to grandmas and other relatives. One has to wonder why this package of pork chops was excluded. Perhaps it is because it was unwrapped, perhaps because of its lack of appropriate postage. The ability to raise questions like these is the essence of what we call “mystique.” Pedestretarian contributor Kelly O provided more questions than answers about this wayward meat. She did not witness any attempts to mail the chops, saying that rather they appeared to have been “abandoned.” Graying slightly around the edges, their complete scentlessness was inexplicable. Kelly stood alone on the sidewalk and felt overwhelmed by nostalgia for summer barbecues. Like the sex lives of celebrities, haunted houses, and all things that possess true mystique, the pork chops inspired an intense longing for barbecue, but completely failed to cause a barbecue to happen. There is nothing one can do in the wake of such failure but step away from the slightly spoiled precipice of the unknown and continue down 12th to get pizza or something.

If you find food on the street, send location and description to

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


The parking garage on Pine and Boylston didn’t look like much from the street—fluorescent light shone out between its concrete layers as if from the facial orifices of an angular, mold-covered jack-o-lantern. Yet something drew me past the entrance’s row of tire spikes into the dumpster-lined interior of the parking garage. It was there that I found this pizza crust, barely visible between a van and a small Honda. The crust, which appeared to have been part of a slice of pepperoni, was surprisingly soft and fresh. It was cold from the pavement, but relatively clean except for some tiny gray rocks stuck in the sauce. Though no cheese remained on the crust, it was flavorful, with a slight aftertaste of what may have been Windex. The cement walls reflected enough light to make even the smallest of the rocks in the sauce easy to spot and avoid. Soft dough and pepperoni remnants fuelled my trek out of the fluorescent garage of discovery to the dark street, where a woman in a leopard-print dress yelled obliviously at Linda's patrons lounging against a wall.

If you find food on the street, send location and description to

Monday, March 21, 2011


This box of phad Thai was resting against the mossy wall of the Stumbling Monk on Olive and Belmont, closed neatly, the chop sticks still wrapped. I’ve always enjoyed this sidewalk, and tonight it was especially arresting under the light of a “Supermoon.” The “Supermoon,” closer to the Earth than it had been in eighteen years, illuminated a nest of noodles and green onions dramatically when I lifted them from the box. The noodles were the temperature of the early spring air, slightly stiff and damp with spicy oil that had hardened from the cold, and perhaps the passage of time. The cashews, however, were oddly soft. I brought the phad thai back into the bar to share. Inside, lamp light revealed cubes of fried tofu in the bottom of the box, also saturated with spicy oil. “You can’t get herpes from a cashew,” mused my dining companion as we washed the last of the noodles down with St. Bernardus and Cask-Conditioned Elysian IPA. Unless herpes is part of the magic of Thai food discarded under a full moon, he was surely right.

If you find food on the street, send location and description to