I love this time of year when Fall starts trickling in and warm sunny days are tempered with a little bit of crisp in the air. So last week, when Mother Earth granted us a couple of these perfect days, I decided to work outside and stepped into Transmitter Park, where I was met by a gargantuan illustration of a girl donning traditional Polish socks, in peaceful repose, holding daisies that have lost a few petals that are blowing away. The image though large, blends in unassumingly with the quiet midday scene of the park and is reminiscent of an idyllic innocent childhood. At times like this, it’s hard to remember that just a few years ago, this part of Greenpoint was slammed by Hurricane Sandy and we have been experiencing some erratic behavior with the weather since.
You don’t need to study scientific evidence to know that climate change is real. However subtle or extreme it is in the way it manifests itself in our daily lives, its presence is often like an elephant in the room and we carry on with the same habits even after being shaken up by a natural disaster. I wonder if Transmitter Park will recede with rising sea levels and the days of dipping out of the office to soak in the sun and enjoy the cityscape are numbered. I think about unusually warm winter days and how it felt unsettling. Appreciation of the moment’s beauty sinks in and I gain a renewed sense of urgency that something needs to be done. Continue reading →
Have you ever been walking the streets of Greenpoint and noticed a careful scrawl with an arrow, “To the Moon” on the sidewalk?
The artist who goes by Gazoo To The Moon has spread his message everywhere he goes. Often carrying spray paint in his bag, even when he’s traveling, his work relays the idea that you should always be shooting for your dreams. So why not shoot for the moon?
A common thread in Pixote’s work is its massive size, matched by ambitious height. His tags are hard to miss. I’ve seen his unique graffiti everywhere—from billboards to high walls all over Brooklyn and NYC—so often that it seems ubiquitous.
A piece that always comes to mind is the tag on the pale yellow wall on the popular corner of Bedford and Nassau north of McCarren park. The giant writing, juxtaposed by the Aaron Swartz memorial mural (by BAMN) seems so iconic that I associate the entire intersection of Williamsburg and Greenpoint with the sight.
My curiosity grew stronger as I learned more about the artist behind the famous tags, the influence of his Brazilian roots, and the mysterious Pixação. We met in a coffeeshop in Greenpoint, and our conversation went far beyond graffiti, as we talked about spirituality, music, and social consciousness.
If you ride the East River Ferry you’ve likely seen the 20-foot-tall letters that spell out JEFFREY GAMBLERO on the dock of the India Street stop. They are outlined in black and filled in with a vivid aqua green. It is the color of surgical scrubs, of Winterfresh gum and cartoon characters, and a fitting hue for what has become an unofficial landmark of the Greenpoint waterfront.
If you don’t know, now you know, Greenpoint! Every season, the gorgeous Greenpoint Loft comes alive with FREE fun activities, food & refreshments, music, and epic local shopping. And on Sunday, February 7th (1-7PM) we’re spreading the love the Greenpoint way at ourannual Valentine’s Market!
“Invader loves pizza. And apparently ours,” said Vinnie’s co-owner Henrik Toncic. “He and his crew stayed for lunch after completing the job. Chill down to earth Parisians. We feel very lucky. And proud. And it’s never gonna get old walking up to it.”
According to Toncic, Invader custom-made his pizza critter especially for Vinnie’s, matching it to their logo and everything.
As tempting as it is, though, to say that pizza (and pizza alone) brought them together, Toncic has been part of the street art community his entire life. A mutual friend, photographer Stephen Kelley, facilitated the fateful meeting.
“Do you remember what it was like? There was garbage everywhere.” AB and I are talking about New York City in the 80s, when he used to ride along with his father, who drove all over the city for work. I remember what it was like. It was the total antithesis of this sanitized college-town vibe that’s been creeping up and down the East River for the last decade or so. It was nasty and it was New York, and the denizens of that nastiness knew how to look for beauty in the rough. For AB and his boys, that beauty was graffiti art. Continue reading →
Holly’s HeART by Hand (172 Greenpoint Ave) is a new art & maker learning center and handmade shop. After several years of working the market circuit, owner and long-time Greenpoint resident Holly Fairall is putting down brick and mortar roots here.
The shop carries work from many local artists and fair-trade goods from global craftspeople including a beautiful collection of eco-friendly cards, jewelry, home goods, specialty foods, incense, and paper goods. In addition to all the products being ethically produced and eco-friendly, the prices are unbeatable, with an average cost of $25. If you ever need a unique gift, this is the place to go. Continue reading →
Last Monday neighborhood residents were witness to a rare sighting of the locally famous and indigenous/ursine hoops fan, KnickerBear. Standing near the corner of West Street and Greenpoint Ave. crying his hard, marble eyes out with middle fingers raised to the sky, KnickerBear let the north Brooklyn neighborhood know exactly what he thought of it–and of his team’s defense recently getting turned into Swiss cheese by Deron Williams and the rest of the Brooklyn Nets.
Anyone who rides a bike knows cycling in the hood can be treacherous business. But did you know roughly every 48 hours a pedestrian or cyclist in NYC is killed by a vehicle? That makes fatalities from cars and trucks more deadly than gun-related incidents! This year over 200 people have died from traffic fatalities and it is the city’s number one cause of death for kids ages 1-12 years old.
On October 18th, Right of Way–an organization that promotes the right of way for pedestrians and cyclists, teamed up with a group called Families for Safe Streets to show folks traffic fatalities aren’t just a faceless statistic. Eight different locations were chosen to show where victims were killed and were honored with street art memorials. Seven of the sites involved families, the eighth location was chosen in remembrance of an “unknown victim”. Continue reading →