nw3 to nyc

Observations on moving my family across the Atlantic


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5pointz

After the excitement of a month long Banksy residency, New York now has to settle for its own graffiti artists and go over to Long Island City in Queens to get its fix. There’s an empty warehouse opposite MOMA PS1, the Long Island City outpost of the Museum of Modern Art, and it’s covered in graffiti. At first glance you may think it’s all a bit of a mess and says something about how much people care about this area, but actually it’s all very organised and the graffiti artists have been using this building as a canvas for decades. The 5pointz website tells us:

“5Pointz Aerosol Art Center, Inc. is an outdoor art exhibit space in Long Island City, New York, considered to be the world’s premiere “graffiti Mecca,” where aerosol artists from around the globe paint colorful pieces on the walls of a 200,000-square-foot factory building.”

Constantly under the threat of demolition, 5pointz continues to argue (even in the courts with some help from Banksy himself) that this is art, this is somewhere that should be protected. Unfortunately the gentrification of Long Island City is creeping and with the enormous Citi building nearby and the renovated Court Square subway station making this a surprisingly accessible stop on the 7 line, the price of real estate is growing. Putting up an apartment building to replace the graffiti strewn building is going to make someone a lot of cash and there’ll come a point soon when the fight will be over.

So here are some of my pictures so that you can see what the fuss is all about. Make the most of them, they may be some of the last to adorn the building.

graffiti 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

graffiti 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

graffiti 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

graffiti 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

graffiti 3

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Searching for Banksy

So, mysterious British graffiti artist, Banksy, is visiting NYC this month. He must have known in advance that the weather would be perfect for scrawling on walls late at night. I’m pretty excited about this as we used to live in Bristol which is where he started his career. It’s also where we went to a great exhibition of his work a few years ago, after queuing for hours and hours. Anyway, Banksy has created a bit of stir here, and no doubt this is being reported in the UK as well, as he is doing one new art work every day somewhere in the city. It’s a fantastic bit of self promotion.

The first one was way down town and was painted over within the day. The second was on West 25th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues which is a long way from us but coincidentally we were nearby yesterday and we saw yesterday’s creation. We were there about 10pm and there were a fair few fans hanging around and taking pictures. We did the same. I went down there again today and it’s still there, it’s been defaced a bit more by other graffiti artists’ ‘tags’ but it’s still legible. Here’s my snap:

banksy Oct 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s offering is a dog urinating on a fire hydrant. Charming. I knew it was somewhere in Midtown but having just looked it up it was at West 24th Street and 6th Avenue. Wish I’d known that earlier as I was so close on 28th Street just this afternoon! I can feel a new hobby coming on, a Banksy a day.