Tuesday, March 6, 2018

New York City Area

The Sanitary Luncheon in Staten Island is really a set from the Boardwalk Empire now in historic Richmond Town.  It was a bustling place back in the 1700’s and by the time Staten Island became absorbed by NYC in the 1890’s it declined but resurged in the late 1950’s as Historic Richmond Town with about 30 historical structures- kind of a Colonial Williamsburg.

 Why did I start this blog in Staten Island?  Because I had never been physically there except when I passed above it on the Verrazano bridge going into NYC.  For years I planned to go there to visit friends I made during a trip to China almost a decade ago.  They facilitated my access to the Captain’s Deck on one of the Ferry Boats going between Staten Island and NYC.
 Above is the shoreline along the Jersey and below the one for NYC.  Why the difference in color between the two images?  For Jersey I had the sun behind me and for NYC the sun towards the NW.  I arrived at the new Ferry Dock that is next to the old one.  No doubt there were better looking buildings in the olden times. Next is a view approaching the old ferry dock that is posterized in Black and White.

 Upon arriving at the Big Apple I walked to the Whitney Museum of American Art to take a look …I was disappointed since it was mostly a museum about “political correctness” disguised as art.  The middle image below was my favorite and appears to me in the style of Van Gogh “Starry Nights.” Next an art connoisseur trying to figure out what the splashes in the canvas mean.

 Walking uptown by the High Line next to the Hudson River observed the cadaver of an old building been devoured to be replaced by modern skyscrapers; NYC never sleeps and always metamorphosing from a Gotham to a Metropolis.  The colorful hoses are really considered a work of art; when I first saw them, I thought they just were old abandoned fireman hoses.

 Bushwick is a neighborhood that suffered from urban decay now been gentrified and what were abandoned old factories are resurgent as fancy apartments for the noveaux rich. I found gold here; I mean graffiti or street art. I go all over the world photographing graffiti, and some of it could be exhibited in the MOMA as art priced in the millions. The one below looks as a prison because of the concertina wire above it. The contrast of the paintings in the two sides of the building is totally different in style; I prefer the one on the dark side (what you see is not what it looks like since I applied HDR changes and darkened the sky.  Below is an active poultry store and if you get close, it really smells like a chicken coop. The third and fourth images are the walls of a rundown apartment but the paint job really makes it appealing. 

 Some of the graffiti has specific messages but if you try to read, it makes no sense and
I leave it at that. What was an artist subculture has become established with unique styles such a “Bubble Lettering” initially associated with crime.  It started as paintings on the side of railroad and subway cars resulting in the authorities “war on graffiti” that eventually migrated to the walls of buildings.  For a time there was legislation controlling the sale of spray paint to ages of 18 to 21.  But the battle against graffiti was lost and it became street art and the defacers became art gallery owners.  

 Bushwick was founded by the Dutch and during the XIX century became a German migrant’s enclave and now is predominantly Hispanic better known as “Latino American”, mostly originating from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Most of them came here to work at the long gone Domino Sugar Refinery and the Navy Yards.

 The original name of the area was Boswijck meaning “little town in the woods” and was revitalized by the Bushwick Initiative and transformed into an art community with numerous artists’ studios, galleries, breweries and outside cafes. The graffiti is being restored and is protected and the streets also used by the movie industry. 

 It is a really friendly hearty place and surprisingly with street parking is readily available…free.
After having a great pizza at the microbrewery accompanied by a strong IPA, it was time to head home as the sun faded.  How did I start in Staten Island and end in Bushwick and named this blog New York City?  Only the IPAs know.

1 comment:

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I'm late, I'm late for a very important date.....

I think I would be very confused at those lines too!!

Some of the graffiti is really amazing.

NY? A place I avoid at all coats but thanks for showing us this side of it as it is very interesting.