Archives for posts with tag: city center

Post number two of my NYC trip is dedicated to the street art tour I decided to take on a chilly Saturday morning. The tour was run by an outfit called Free Tours By Foot, and they run tours on all different types of themes in cities all over.

It definitely felt a bit odd, to be walking with a tour group in a city which I had called home for so many years. But considering that my interest in street art didn’t start until well after I had left NYC, it was a really great way see the city for the first time. The tour guide was a great source of information, being an artist himself, and put a lot of time and research to make the tour as educational as possible. I definitely learned a lot, and don’t feel quite so much as a layman as I did before.

The tour took us through SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown, and scraped the Lower East Side, all areas which were a part of my regular stomping grounds when I lived there, so it was a great experience to see such familiar streets from a different point of view. The tour finishes off on Mulberry street in the slightly tacky heart of Little Italy, so I didn’t linger around for too long. Though I couldn’t resist grabbing a cannoli before moving on.

Needless to say, I definitely recommend this tour next time you’re in NYC. There are also tours of Bushwick, Astoria, and Williamsburg available. Here’s the link.

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Today’s shots come from the free walls at Tres Xemeneies, near Avinguda Paral·lel, some random wanderings through the neighbouring Raval, and a new location (at least for me): the Jardins de Walter Benjamin, which are just near the Port, and mark the last frontier before the city gives way to Montjuic Park. As suggested in the title, the “gardens” themselves are nothing to marvel at, but the walls, which separate them from the playground of a local school, are the main attraction.

The Raval was full of tributes to famous faces, among them Debbie Harry, Kafka, Dennis Rodman, the late Prince, Jesus Christ (by artist sm172), and Football Club Barcelona’s favourite tax-dodging wunderkind, Neymar Jr.

As my geo-tagging feature on my camera app has become a bit unpredictable with the latest android update, my locations aren’t quite a precise as before. That said, a good wander round the Raval/Poble Sec area does a body good!

 

Impermanence is one of the things that most appeals to me about art found on the streets. I can return after a few days, weeks, or months, and find a completely different work of art. There are many people that would lament the damage done to the two images I present today, and I doubt that the person who scratched out the eyes on the stencil of the little girl from C215 had art in mind when he or she acted. Nonetheless, I think we have to accept, or even embrace this proces of decay and regeneration in the creation of a completely new work of art. If we want protected art, we can always go to a museum where the works are mostly (with this recent exception caught on video) protected from accidental and non-accidental damage. I’m not even sure damage is the correct word. Transitional blemishes?

Boxer

This boxer was on a metal door somewhere in the Barri Gotic. He seems to have taken quite a few blows to the head.

Trashy banks

This was from a protest at the Barcelona HQ of Barclay’s Bank on the ritzy Passeig de Gràcia. Years of dodgy lending and mortgage practices have made bankers just slightly less popular than pedofile priests and serial killers. Will be interesting to see how this all turns out in the next year or so…

Stevie Wonder, NOPE

Are the Stevie Wonder Dopplegangers and the NOPE connected? I like to think so. There are also a pair of Mickey Mouse-looking hands fluttering off to the side. Or perhaps they were the wings on Stevie’s cloud, and he’s just realized he’s not flying. A big cloud of NOPE.

Looking up

This one is a really large profile set on a metal doorway. Don’t know if it’s part of a bigger project or not. Eyes really well done.

A little girl crouching

Found this one in the same little alcove as the girl looking sideways, just off the Via Laetana. It’s a slight incline and I think the side door to a parking garage. I like to imagine the little girl is stooping down to pick up a little bug or maybe a button or something shiny–things that were worth bending down for when we were young.

Hiding her face, Via Laetana

Saw this one on a door near the Via Laetana close to the Jaume 1 Metro station, leading toward the plaza of the Cathedral. She’s looking toward the Via Laetana, which has always been sort of a sad street. So much potential but basically left as one of the few routes from the center of Barcelona to the sea. Would be a great rival to the Gran Via in Madrid..

Found these three along the protest march route. They made for a great photo, but from the fashion sense (or lack thereof) of the one standing in the middle, I got the strange sensation that they were undercover cops. The other two on top of the dumpsters not so much, but there was something off about the guy on the ground, I think the posture seemed a bit out of place also. Well if one, none or all of them are undercover cops one thing’s certain with all these masks: whoever’s got the merchandising rights to “V for Vendetta” is laughing all the way to the bank.