Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Mystery of the Max Racks Postcards

Back in the 1990s around New York City there were these racks of postcards in stores and restaurants—often by the restrooms—that were promotional in nature, full color,and somehwat intereting.

 as you waited for the restroom, you could browse the rack of GoCards or MaxRacks cards and take a few.  There were postcards for broadway shows, perfumes, clothing, TV shows, events, etc.  Essentially they were slick ads in the form of postcard.

I took to collecting them for a time.  I would take two of each that I thought were interesting.
I did it as a sort of time capsule, and to this day I still have a box full.  There's Pamela Anderson in a PETA ad; a postcard for a Rocky Horror Broadway revival; various perfume ads; a card with the schedule for Bryant Park Summer Movies, to name just a few.

Increasingly though, in the late 90s, I would come upon the racks and find them pretty much empty.  I found it sort of hard to blieve that people were taking THAT much interest in these cards.  To the point where every single perfume ad was gone? Seemed unlikely.

Then one day, while I was waiting for the bathroom at Veselka, a shlumpy older person in an overcoat lumbered in.  I could not tell if this person, wearing a baseball cap and stringy long white hair was a man or woman.  But no matter.  The person came lumbering in with two large paper shopping bags, stuffed full of unknown matter.  When said person reached where i was standng, they reached into every single slot, pulled out the respective stack of cards, and put it into their shopping bag.

When the person had cleaned out every single card, he/she turned, lumbered away, and exited Veselka.

Thus solved the mystery of where all those cards were going.  Probably to fill said person's house until the day they died.  Whereupon whoever was responsible to clear things out would likely throw away those and everything else this packrat had collected over the years.

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