morning inspiration

by Grace Bonney

Sometimes the simplest ideas can have the most powerful impact. I drove by this beautiful installation outside Cooper Union this past Friday and haven’t been able to forget it since. I’m a sucker for neons, but these pretty plastic ties (they looked like plastic from the moving car — does anyone know if they’re metal?) are such a beautiful way to decorate a pole regardless of their color. Though that hot pink to neon orange fade is pretty awesome . . . xo, grace

Suggested For You


  • Grace you’re right – they are plastic ties. My boyfriend lives right around the corner so I saw them installing them over the summer. So fun!

  • I ride by every morning, they are zip ties. They were part of the Summer Streets covering at least 5 of the lamp poles. They do sing happiness in Astor Square!

  • They’re actualy called Flaming Cactuses. Animus Art Collective did the installation as part of the Summer Streets program. They’ll be up until June 2012 (when apparently Animus will return to take them down). The installation generated a bit of debate – is it art? is it a waste? – that sort of thing. Animus said “the underlying goal is just to demonstrate that everyday objects can be transformed into something interesting just by combining them in unusual ways.” Which of course is something most people here can appreciate! All I know is that I stopped, smiled, and took a bunch of pictures the first time I saw them. Doesn’t sound like a waste to me. :)

  • i have loved these since seeing them this summer during my many mile summer streets walk! so simple yet striking. every time i’m down by astor place i take a minute to admire them. good to know they are being appreciated by many! my favorite is the rainbow array (i’m forever a sucker for all things rainbow…)

  • I just saw these last night. Wasn’t quite sure if it was art or something to keep birds away??? I don’t know how my mind went there but I was trying to find their function… just something pretty to look at I guess :)

  • A few of the lamp posts on Governor’s Island in New York are decorated with them, too. Well worth the ferry ride to check it out. There’s a sculpture garden there, too. Pretty cool place to go.

  • I absolutely love these. They look like giant pip cleaners, and every time I walk past I have to touch them.

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.