Monthly Archives: April 2005

Helicopter Bug


It’s a car. It’s a helicopter. It’s a … “helicar”? No, wait … it’s a n “automocopter.” Whatever it is, it was on the wall of a lofts building in downtown New York City. The car itself looks a lot like a tricked-out Porsche Carrera sports car or possibly a Volkswagen Beetle. But we doubt that there would be any official connection between the German automakers Porsche or VW and this graphic street art.

Ivan Corsa Photo



Pink paste-up of former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in lower Manhattan. A couple of random notes about Powell. As this paste-up states, Powell is from the Bronx and he is a Brooklyn College grad, so in a sense he’s originally a New Yorker. His son, Michael, was recently chairman of the FCC. Like many Executive branch administration officials, Colin Powell has been the target of much criticism with regards to the country’s foreign policy, etc., as the message in this poster demonstrates. Question: does a paste-up on like this affect a building’s property value in a real estate market like that of downtown Manhattan, which is very expensive to begin with and where the prices of lofts, condos and aprtments are currently soaring?

Ivan Corsa Photo

An Artist Called West 01 – Faces of the LES Tenement Museum


This impressive painting on Orchard Street, between Delancey and Broome streets, in the Lower East Side, is by one of the all-time great artists to emerge from the New York City graf underground. The artist is called West One (or West 01). These days he calls the Upper West Side his home, but West One keeps a studio in Brooklyn. He started writing graf on NYC subways in the mid 1980’s and distinguished himself by painting in a crisp letter style dubbed “Broadway Style.” In a recent interview, West One cited the work of graf superstars Zephyr, Revolt, Skeme and Dez as inspiration early in his career. These days his work, like the painting pictured above, are mural-like works that seem far removed from the graf-writing style. The image is an homage to the diverse ethnic history of the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It’s fitting that this West One painting is supported by, and placed in front of, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. What was the worst slum in America for decades, and an ethnic enclave for generations of Jewish, German, Latino and Chinese immigrants (as well as people from many other countries) is now Manhattan’s hippest, hottest nabe. The Lower East Side’s slummy streets are increasingly home to a luxury real estate market that has spawned multimillion-dollar apartments, condos and lofts.

Ivan Corsa Photo

Sushi Ahoy! – Maritime Hotel Building, Chelsea, NYC 02

Sushi Ahoy! – Maritime Hotel Building, Chelsea, NYC 02


A shot of the lower and ground levels of the Maritime Hotel in Chelsea where the wave of chic gentrification continues to turn warehouses into multi-million-dollar condos and apartments. This hot piece of Manhattan real estate serves not only as a fashionable boutique hotel, but is also home to Megu, an upscale, buzz-worthy Japanese restaurant.

Ivan Corsa Photo

Sushi Ahoy! – Maritime Hotel Building, Chelsea, NYC 01


The Maritime Hotel in Chelsea has only been around for 39 years, but it already has a storied history. The 12-floor building is now a fashionable boutique hotel and office building catering to the rich and fabulous and celebrity-crowned peeps who haunt the Meatpacking District, West Village and Cheslea. The structure is now one of the hottest pieces of real estate on the west side of lower Manhattan, where the wave of chic gentrification continues, a process that has turned meat warehouses into multi-million-dollar condos and apartments. As an example of the second wave of “international style” architecture popular in the 1960’s, the Maritime Hotel has a distinct look. Designed by architect Albert C. Ledner, the structure’s obvious and most eclectic feature is the grid of porthole windows, which, like the building’s name, hints at its past. When the building was opened in 1966, it housed the National Maritime Union and was home to sailors. Now, in addition to serving as a jet-set hotel, the tower has one of the most recent buzz restaurants of New York City, the upscale Japanese sushi palace called Megu.

Ivan Corsa Photo

Honolulu Graphica 11 – Airport Men’s Room Sign


Our favorite piece of graphica from the recent Honolulu series is this example of signage and graphic design at Honolulu International Airport. The standard internationally recognized iconography for Restroom, or Men’s Room, has been dressed up with local Hawaiian flavor. Not only has a Polynesian decorative graphic been used in the treatment, but a classic aloha shirt and the Hawaiian word for men, “Kane,” have been added. Very cool, if a little kitschy.

Ivan Corsa Photo

Honolulu Graphica 08 – Waikiki Galleria Building


We love the style of this building. The Waikiki Galleria Building in Honolulu is an impressive piece of real estate. The architectural design is a fusion of Polynesia and post-modernism. The result of these combined influences is a glass office tower in the international style with a lattice structure or exosleleton reminiscent of Hawaiian or tropical aesthetic motifs.

Ivan Corsa Photo