Friday, November 28, 2014

NEW YORK CHARM: DOWNTOWN STREET STYLE

There are a million reasons why New York is a charming city--like the way that if you're having a crappy day, the right train comes without delay and lifts your spirits. Or your bartender forgets to charge half your drinks, or you find a metro card with $40 on it, or the pouring rain starts as soon as you are safely inside. I could go on and on about reasons why I love this city, from the beauty in changing seasons to the interesting people you'll undoubtedly meet along the way. But what I'd rather show you, is the charm of the streets. 

Among all the promotion we see in the streets, from brand advertisements to inspiring "dream big" messages, politically charged statements or New York survival tips, my favorite of them all has to be the iconic, I <3 NY. It really never gets old (except for the tourist t-shirts. Those are annoying). So naturally, I love this new piece by Buff Monster on Houston and E 1st St. This traffic jam of a corner connecting the Lower East Side and East Village is a little street art haven, most popularly showcasing the Centre-Fuge Public Art project. 

Also made for Centre-Fuge is this funky concrete wall by Elle and the London Police. Even though it's black & white, it's not missing any of the energy of a colorful mural. Love it! 

As we make our way into the East Village from E 1st St, another type of New York charm emerges. As on many basketball court walls and high school buildings, a giant space for graffiti and street art alike. 

The newest in the neighborhood, and most glorified for its' size and nostalgic fun, is this Charlie Brown piece by JerkFace. Rising 6 stories (60 feet!) up on the backside of East Community High School, this mural is a perfect example of the positivity  and charm that street art can bring to a city. The wall was sponsored  by Wat-aah!, with their project "Taking Back the Streets" that promotes drinking water and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to kids. They're able to reach people, well, because it's kind of hard to miss. And it's cool, and kids like it, and hopefully therefore they will be more likely to drink water than soda! 
JerkFace on Tumblr 
Also in the back of the high school, is the community basketball court, which dons its own, more weathered art.  Though no one was actually playing basketball this particular morning, there were a few skateboarders coming in and out. The detail and bright colors make this court truly beautiful, and now with JerkFace across the street, this backyard of the East Village now looks complete. Take a look around! 




Fun, right?!

With the Lower East Side just back down 1st Ave, and hundreds of options for lunch spots in that direction, we turned around and headed south again. Along the way, we find a graffiti and wheat paste hotspot. From reminders that "reality is just a state of mind", to a Snow White paste-up, and words of wisdom from an owl's eyes, there's so much to take in. 

Less than five feet from me taking these pictures, by the way, was a homeless guy peeing into the gutter. Take a breath---it's all part of the charm. 


Aha. And now, for the grand finale. Where the streets of New York truly showcase a mix of art and fashion, and in an all-black-everything, edgy sort of way. Downtown street style, as it is in its most creative charm. 
Karl Lagerfeld + Tom Ford, in stark comparison to the jet black walls and the heart on the rolling gate. This iconic New York street style piece is by the only & only Bradley Theodore. He's now on a Eurotrip getting inspiration for his next pieces, so this is what we have to savor until something new comes along. It may be my favorite Bradley Theodore yet, and I can only hope that it stays on the unassuming corner of Ludlow and Rivington forever. If not, it's at least immortalized on my Instagram! 
Tom Ford by Bradley Theodore

Only in New York City are you constantly surrounded by greatness...


With that, this week's street art adventure has come to an end. Any day with this many of my favorite artists and their pieces is a great one. Stay tuned, because next up will feature on these artists in my "From the Streets to the Gallery" specials! Anyone know who? :) 

xx
Naomi 



PS. Thank you so much for reading week after week! I've reached 10k views and couldn't be happier. I'm glad to see you're all along for the ride....




Sunday, November 16, 2014

HELLS KITCHEN & A HELICOPTER RIDE

We all live for the weekend, right? Whether it's a lazy Sunday spent in bed, or a wild Friday night out with my best friends, I find myself counting down the days until the weekend comes back around. And wherever the weekend takes me, either intentionally or by surprise, street art always seems to work its way into my plans. 

This past weekend was an especially exciting adventure, because I took my first ever helicopter ride over New York City. Of all of the touristy and local things I've done in the past 6 years here, I have to say this takes the cake. Fittingly so, as it was a present for my boyfriend's first birthday spent in NYC. Well, now, I've set the standards pretty high! I only took a few pictures, because I was so mesmerized by the experience, but I'm happy to share what I did snap. Breathtaking views of the Freedom tower and Empire State Building--bright, beautiful, sky high perspectives. My concrete jungle. 



I would recommend this helicopter ride to anyone and everyone--whether you're a local or a newcomer, if it's for a special occasion or just for a new reason to fall in love with New York City. We circled around the Verrazano, past the Brooklyn Bridge, and then made our way from lower Manhattan to the Bronx and back. The thirty minutes felt like 5 minutes and an eternity at the same time. It will undoubtedly go down as one of my happiest, coolest days in NY ever!  

As we returned to the concrete bustle of the city, taking a long walk through Midtown and Hell's Kitchen, there was one thing we kept saying to each other--dude!!! Was that real life? Did we just do that? DUDE! 
Sheryo and The Yok
And right there, in the middle of our conversation, a story above our heads. A Sheryo & the Yok mural that I'd been meaning to go see, but hadn't gotten the chance. A perfect continuation of the day, and it fit right in to our conversation and ecstatic moods. 





Cheers to happy days, happy graffiti, and happy pineapple murals by Sheryo & the Yok! 

Stay tuned for more! Next up: downtown adventures featuring Jerkface and Bradley Theodore.  

xx
Naomi


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

ELECTRIC DAYS, IT'S THE BROOKLYN WAY

I spent October blissfully denying that fall would suddenly turn into winter, and instead focused my energy on the autumn beauty that surrounds us in NYC. The most beautiful seasons always seem to be the shortest, and this is no exception. There's just a handful of weekends that require no more than a leather jacket, before beanies and gloves become a part of our everyday life. I decided to spend one of these gorgeous fall weekends roaming around Bushwick, in search of street art sights I hadn't seen before. Luckily, this turned out to be an easy feat. With artists like Dasic Fernandez and Eelco van den Berg hard at work in Brooklyn, there's hardly a corner to turn without electric walls and vivid colors jumping out at you. See for yourself! 
Dasic Fernandez
Daek William
Sexer1
Bishop 203
Dasic Fernandez + Spok Brillor
Eelco van den Berg

Sexer1
Elle 

As I was walking in and out of the Bushwick Collective territory, I remembered that a one-weekend-only art exhibit was taking place in the area. I headed deeper into the 'Wick, to Be Electric Studios. 

Be Electric is a venue that rents out space for all types of events, from galleries to concerts and photoshoots. This special event, appropriately titled "Street Murals", was a group exhibition featuring canvas artwork from 21 street artists. I didn't go for the party (thanks to laziness caused by Friday night rain), but was happy to see some of my favorite artists and their newest pieces. Here's a recap of the exhibition--enjoy! 
Raquel Echanique
Chuck Berrett  & Gazoo to the Moon
Damien Mitchell
Nicole Salagar & Chuck Berrett
Dasic Fernandez
Chuck Berrett

And my absolute favorite of the day, by Esteban Del Valle. His style is so iconic, and it turned what used to be a boring white wall into a gorgeous work of art. I even closed the bathroom door to take this shot. :) 
Esteban Del Valle

Which one is your favorite?! 

Like pretty much any other time I've posted about the Bushwick Collective, as soon as I leave more art starts to go up. They're currently in the middle of an amazing lettering job, with different artists owning a letter of Bushwick. I'll have to go back ASAP, since I'm already having FOMO of the mural work I could missing out on.

Stay tuned! Until next time..

xx
Naomi