Plastic shopping bags, the city’s dandruff, get stuck in trees and wrapped around light poles all the time.
Rarely do they cause a bomb scare.
But that is what happened on Friday morning, shortly after 10:30 a.m. According to Gothamist, someone had simply called 311 to complain about a bag a gentleman had recently deposited into a tree on Beford Avenue and inquire about its removal.The 311 dispatcher, apparently spooked by the description of an installation by Brooklyn designer Takeshi Miyakawa—an I [heart] NY plastic shopping bag with a wire hanging out—directed the annoyed neighbor to call 911.
The cops showed up, then the fire department, the the bomb squad, which shut down Bedford from North Fourth Street to North Seventh Street for two hours.
Each May for New York Design Week, Mr. Miyakawa has made various installations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn to coincide with the annual festivities, including a floating chair that, like the bags, glowed. It was a spirited—if unsanctioned, but also generally harmless—effort. The installations had gained a modicum of notoriety within the art and design communities, but little notice elsewhere. This year, the work got him thrown in jail, for up to a month, if not longer.