Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

The red cart that could


This painting is part of a larger series of Peekskill I’ve been working on. I’m documenting what the city looks like right now.

My aim in doing so is to try to anticipate the things that will be indicators of our current time juxtaposed with the historical architecture and elements of the city. To me, the red cart is a perfect example of this. This painting was done in collaboration with an Instagram account “icartpeekskill” who documents the carts left around the city.

Recently, I’ve heard lots of nuanced opinions of the carts; who’s responsibility is it to deal with them, who is to blame for their displacement, and what if anything is the solution to this problem. Personally, I’m more interested in why they are where they end up – and potential adaptions that could be made without creating a larger issue.

This cart is about .4 miles from its home. That’s relatively close by in comparison to where these carts often end up – which is all over. I’m aware of why people see this as a grievance, but to me, it speaks to other things about Peekskill.

Every cart is a symbol of someone walking their groceries home. People doing what it takes to provide for themselves and their families. People choosing walking over riding for a variety of reasons.

Yes they should return the carts or use portable carts. However, with some of these intersections, I don’t entirely blame them for not taking the walk twice or using a flimsy foldable cart. The found carts are repurposed. They are makeshift toys for kids. They’re used by other businesses to unload trucks and cart items to and from store fronts. They’re used to collect cans and other refuse from the road. Heartbreaking enough at times, they’re used to cart some of our neighbor’s entire collections of belongings as they struggle to find shelter.

Every cart tells a story.

Hope Weissman’s painting is acrylic on canvas. A graduate of Parsons the New School for design she has a BFA in Illustration. She grew up in the area, and currently works for a mobile art education franchise centered in Peekskill.