Lost and Found Airplanes of New York City

Paper Airplane

Artist Harry Everett Smith had a curious hobby of collecting random paper airplanes that he found in New York City.

Smith was “always, always, always looking” for new airplanes, one friend said: “He would run out in front of the cabs to get them, you know, before they got run over. I remember one time we saw one in the air and he was just running everywhere trying to figure out where it was going to be. He was just, like, out of his mind, completely. He couldn’t believe that he’d seen one. Someone, I guess, shot it from an upstairs building.”

I once launched a light balsa wood plane from the rooftop of a building in Soho. The way it floated and circled down is etched into my memory. It’s a wonder it didn’t hit anybody and in retrospect this wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had. Nonetheless it really was something to see.

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