In what may or may not be performance art, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey—an organization charged with overseeing the region’s bridges, tunnels, and airports—recently told Fishs Eddy—a small home goods store in Manhattan—that printing a pre-9/11 New York City skyline rendered in cartoon-like drawings on its merchandise was of “great concern.” Specifically, the authority would like the store to immediately stop selling all mugs, plates, bowls, and dish towels that depict any of its “assets” including the Twin Towers, One World Trade Center, and even the tunnels Holland and Lincoln.
Dinner plate in the “212” collection. (Courtesy Fishs Eddy)
Acccording to the New York Times, a lawyer for the authority sent a letter to Fishs Eddy saying that the store is “unfairly reaping a benefit from an association with the Port Authority and the [9/11] attacks.” Right, because people go to Fishs Eddy to pick out a demitasse saucer that best portrays their favorite transportation organization. And, apparently, just depicting the New York City skyline before September 11th now constitutes “reaping a benefit” from the tragedy.
A spokesperson for the authority told the Times that Fishs Eddy is part of its larger “trademark enforcement efforts.” The lawyer who wrote the letter also added that the store’s items “[interfere] with the Port Authority’s control of its own reputation.” But come on. The Port Authority is, of course, in control of its own reputation and it’s done more than enough to sully it over the years. A ramekin isn’t going to change that.