A Gothamist tipster emailed us this photo of a prohibitively tall bench on the median of East Houston Street near Suffolk. Is this guerrilla art or city-sanctioned furniture? The new cool “Bench Club” for East Village scenesters? A lawsuit in-waiting from the city’s more vertically challenged residents? A prototype anti-homeless bench? A photoshop hoax?

Lots and lots of phone calls to the City Council representative, the Community Board, the Parks Department and D.O.T. have yielded exactly 0 leads. Our source at D.O.T. simply said: “Wow! This is shocking! Will investigate.” A Community Board representative confirms that the median is under D.O.T. jurisdiction and tells us they have yet to find any record of this with the Community Board.

If this is a gag we're going to have some apologizing to do, so we’re counting on our tireless commenters to get to the bottom of this – because it’s way too cold and windy for us to go out there ourselves.

Update, December 17: City officials removed the bench, asking the owner to reclaim it. And it turns out the "owner" is street artist Brad Downey.

Thanks to Patrick for the photo and tip.