I caught an earlier train into New York than expected, arriving around one pm Sunday afternoon. The city greeted me with a hot and glorious day, three hours of which I spent walking from 32nd and 7th avenue down through the Bowery to Houston street via Broadway and Union Square, then back up to Penn Station on 7th avenue starting at roughly 14th street.
Some remnants of street art had survived the mass cullings executed by the city of New York, but places where formerly many beautiful pieces could be found were instead art-free dead zones replete with franchise coffee shops. Union Square lay bare, stripped of all but one speck of its cultural heritage. Except for a few spots, Broadway along most of its length had been picked clean, scraped-up lighting poles and remnants of sticker-glue the only reminders that works of art had once existed there.
By the time I hit Mamoun’s falafel near Washington square park to photograph the stickers posted on its walls, I was so badly dehydrated that my vision was starting to lag and I was having trouble keeping my balance on two feet. Mine was a forced march to harvest as much street art as possible, you see, and I could not be bothered to drink more than enough water to let my vital organs barely function. I still managed to photograph hundreds of pieces of street art - mostly in the East Village and the Bowery - but was dismayed at the lengths to which the city had gone to desecrate and destroy the graffiti that has for so long made it a beacon of hope in a land of sterilized conformity.
americanifesto / 場黑麥 / jpr / urbanartopia / whorphan
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I bicycle, write, surf, and strive.