NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – They say one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.
For the past decade, one man in Manhattan has been using found objects to decorate an urban oasis for his community.
Construction equipment stored on city streets like this pile of pipes on West 56th can be found in just about every neighborhood.
But this storage site got our attention – colorful decorations, musical instruments, even sports equipment camouflage the chaos behind it.
“The scaffolding went up, and so here’s this fence and I just took it as, here’s a canvas and I had somethings in the house and I wired them up and little by little everything became more organized,” Hell’s Kitchen resident David Scalza said.
The man behind this street sculpture of sorts has a wonderland he’s created in his building’s patio right across the street.
“This I call the courtyard garden de arte.”
From what he calls the “sound machine.”
“Drumming with Dave.”
To the lounge area and stage, David Scalza says it’s a place he has curated.
“This pink Christmas tree somebody threw out,” Scalza added.
It was assembled over the last 10 years.
“Lots of things that I find, that people donate to me, it can be from wherever, I’m a dumpster diver, I’m not ashamed to say it.”
The patio paradise extends behind several apartment buildings and has become a community space for performances, outdoor meals and even marriage vows.
“All the buildings have access to the courtyard, people have parties, we’ve had a wedding here.”
The uplifting space also has a somber spot.
“This is symbolic of the World Trade Center and the angels are the people that perished.”
“Quite honestly, I wanted to live in a nice place and I wanted to have friendly neighbors and people getting together, I wanted home.”
Neighbor Brian Dempsey says it’s nourished a unique sense of community, in a city that can often feel like it’s full of strangers.
“It’s the idea of the tranquility and coming back here and being at peace, because we know how stressful it is out there,” Brian Dempsey said.
Scalza says the biggest payoff is watching his neighbors enjoy it.