People love beans — so much that in 2018, the Wall Street Journal declared them “the new kale.” You know kale, the hearty green that became ubiquitous sometime between 2007 and 2012, despite tasting like metallic cardboard when incorrectly prepared; beans have enjoyed a similarly stunning ascent in recent years, upping the trend quotient in health-conscious foods. Allegedly, of course: “Now,” according to New York Magazine, “cool or not, we collectively can’t get enough of beans.” The Atlantic assures us that, in the future, “everything will be made of” this one specific type of bean. Beans, so hot right now!

Which bodes well for you if you love chili (shivers) and feel actively judged while you consume your daily ration at your desk, but not so well for you if you live at 56 Leonard Street in TriBeCa. That’s the site of Anish Kapoor’s latest bean sculpture, basically a smaller version of the one that lives in Chicago (“Cloud Gate”) and draws, heh, MILLIONS AND MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of visitors annually. Back in March, we predicted that the building (which “looks like a giant Jenga sculpture”) would become a powerful Instagram magnet for unruly tourist swarms. And while we cannot confirm that outcome for sure — this latest bean being only about partially finished — do you really see this shaking out any other way?




Rendering of NYC's "Bean" on the corner of Church Street and Leonard Street.

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Rendering of NYC’s “Bean” on the corner of Church Street and Leonard Street.


Anish Kapoor

As the individual bean bits are craned into place, let us gaze upon its nascent form. Let us envision the finished product totally engulfed in crowds of beanfluencers hypnotized by their own distorted reflections in the bean’s mirrored skin.

This may just look like some disjointed sheet metal wrapped in trash bags right now, but in the next few weeks probably, it will swell out from under the building’s base like a balloon escaping two clamped hands.




The Bean takes shape

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December 5th, the first 56Leonard Bean selfie??


Jake Dobkin / Gothamist

Do those gruesome red streaks portend the blood tears you, a resident of the building, will cry each morning and night as you battle your way through the selfie-hungry hoards clustered outside your front door?

We do not currently know when the bean will be completed, so at this juncture, all of the above is really just conjecture. Maybe it will all be fine! Maybe you won’t be awoken in the middle of the night by the fiendish masses, banging on the glass and clamoring for beans, and/or an iPhone charger. Beans! they will cry. Beans! Beans! Beans! Beans! Beans!



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