Thursday, April 29, 2010

Oyster Locals: Best Neighborhoods for Street Art

Hey everyone, we're also writing about New York for Oyster Locals, a web resource for travelers. Periodically we'll feature content on here that we produced there.


Boombox
For many people, the words “New York” conjure images of a Technicolor riot of graffiti: elaborate murals, eye-popping bubble letters, and subway trains dazzling their way through tunnels like motorized rainbows. Though graffiti styles have changed over time—and the subways have been scrubbed clean—New York remains the essential city for street artists, who journey from around the globe to tag, stencil, paste, and paint on the biggest canvas in the world. While street art can be found all over town, some neighborhoods are especially rewarding for the graffiti connoisseur. Here’s a guide.

North Brooklyn


Song

The center of New York’s booming music scene, North Brooklyn also has great street art. With its critical mass of hipsters and long-time residents, Williamsburg boasts some of the city’s best eating and drinking—it’s a must on the itineraries of all visitors under 40—while Greenpoint presents an intriguing mix of trendsetters and Polish immigrants. Both areas feature paste-ups, stencils, and small wall pieces. Bushwick, with its enormous industrial buildings, has more monumental, block-long murals. It's less gentrified and still like feels a secret. Try to keep it that way.

Visitors staying at the W Union Square, the Hotel Gansevoort, or the Standard have a short walk to the L train, which goes to Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick.

Long Island City 


Black and White 

Long Island City, just over the East River from Midtown in Queens, is home to P.S. 1, the contemporary art complex of the Museum of Modern Art, as well as the Sculpture Center and Socrates Sculpture Park. With all of that art talent around, street art can’t be far behind; in fact, Long Island City is where you can find “Graffiti Mecca,” the legendary 5 Pointz. An enormous warehouse entirely given over, inside and out, to street artists, 5 Pointz must be seen to be believed. Anyone is free to paint here, provided you first present a sketch to Meres One, the space’s curator. The pieces range from demure stencils to intricate, grandiose, 30-feet high scenes depicting battles between aliens and skeletons. An aficionado could happily spend the better part of a day watching and marveling.

Long Island City is a quick subway ride from Midtown on the 7, E, V, or R subway lines. The Grand Hyatt, Millennium UN Plaza, and Affinia 50 are fewer than 10 minutes by train from LIC.

Chelsea and the Meatpacking District 


There is a Crack in the Bubble

In the 1990s, the epicenter of New York’s art scene shifted, from Soho to Chelsea, where there are now more galleries than you can shake a paintbrush at—more than 300 in 10 blocks. Add to that creative concentration the playful spirit of the nightlife-heavy meatpacking district only a short stroll to the south, and you have perfect conditions for street art. Unlike in Bushwick, the streets here are quite developed, so the pieces tend to be smaller. But with so many of the art world’s movers and shakers afoot, street artists jostle for the space that remains, sandwiching their work between doors and windows, unabashedly working atop one another, and no doubt secretly hoping to score a gallery deal of their own. (The wall across the street from Pastis is notorious for its constant pasting-over by new artists.) The huge number of restaurants, bars, and clubs in the area means that you can gallery- and street art–hop all day, and eat, drink, and dance all night, without walking more than 15 minutes in any direction.

The GEM Hotel, Maritime Hotel, and Hotel Indigo are located within easy walking distance from the art and nightlife.

1 comment:

Harrisburg Car Accident Attorney said...

Amazing and stunning art. Nice collection.

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