Lower East Side Photo Essay
Last week I went to NYC for my 25th high school reunion. After several intense days of fun reconnecting with friends, I left my last day to walk around NYC with myself on "art date". I didn't want to overplan my day. I wanted to keep a certain degree of spontaneity and discovery. I wanted to do a little shopping, and then take in a little culture-a museum, or some galleries. That is if I could find any with out the help of a smart phone.
I took the train to Prince Street, and after visiting some stores, I decided to walk East to see if I could find some interesting culture.
I walked downSuffolk street looking for galleries or shops. As I walked I found only one tiny gallery. It took a look inside, but it didn't inspire me, so I kept walking.
As I walked it occurred to me that I had never actually walked down that street before. It was a residential neighborhood, and what struck me most was how much it still looked like the NY I remembered from the 80's and 90's (I left new York in 2003). I had been hearing reports from people that NY had gone completely corporate, and no longer had any grit or a vibrant art scene. I had even experienced that myself. But as I walked through the lower east side--I saw more and more evidence of vibrant community.
I passed by a giant mural in front of a school, and I started to feel inspired, and I took out my camera and took pictures. I have such a big crush on sign painting. And then it started to occur to me very gradually as I walked. I don't need to go to a museum to see art. There's art here all over the streets.
I decided to let my intuition or guidance from higher self lead the way, and found my body naturally leaning towards certain streets as I walked. Sure enough I would turn the corner and find yet another giant mural. One after the other.
Eventually I walked north of Houston, and then up Saint Mark's Place towards the subway on Broadway. I took all of these photos along the way. Luckily, I had light on my side. That kind of crisp late afternoon sun that I associate with the fall in NYC.
As I headed up Saint Marks' I ran into this guy: a rapper. (I have to look up his name, which I have forgotten.) He asked me if I liked 90's hip hop as I passed him. He must have known from my age. "Yes," I said. "I do." He pitched his new CD to me, and I bought it for $10. Another example of good old fashioned marketing and public art.
I admit it: I do miss the 90's.