story in the New York Times, and much to my surprise, I found a new word: Stooper. A Stooper is a culler, a gatherer, a dumpster-diver. A person who separates the wheat from the chaff, although in this case the odds are against them, since there is mostly chaff here. The kind of Stooper that the Times writes about spends his days on the floor of the OTB going through spent racing tickets and making a good living. It turns out that yearly there are over $4 million dollars in unclaimed tickets discarded by accident or by gamblers who gave up in a haste.
My good friend is a Stooper, but instead of racing tickets, it's Metrocards. And instead of making a living, he either uses them himself or gives them to others in need of a ride. Instead of spending his days at the OTB, he's running the streets of NYC with a brief pause at a subway station to do some collecting. He also has been know to use them creatively. On the bottom left of his blog, you'll see a running inventory of his discoveries.
(The photo above was found on the web via a web search for "metrocard art" and to my knowledge was not taken by me or anyone I know. If you took it and want credit or want me to remove it or if the image link goes to your server and you don't want me using your bandwidth or if that is you in the photo and you think I have encroached on your privacy, please contact me. So much for internet-style photo credits.)