Swoon is a New York City street artist whose work is instantly recognizable to residents of certain neighborhoods of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, where much of her work can be found. Last Friday, Swoon and her art were featured in a lengthy New York Times’ article by Kirk Semple aboutContinue Reading

Old urban centers in the United States are filled with small shops that do business for decades without ever giving the storefront a makeover. These places are easily recognized by faded signage gasping for impact under rotted paint and accidentally retro typography. The Lower East Side of New York, despiteContinue Reading

Walk the streets of Dumbo in Brooklyn and you get a feel for the kind of ambiance that SoHo had twenty years ago, after the first waves of gentrification had wrapped up but before the entire area became a giant outdoor shopping mall with brand names everywhere. In Dumbo (theContinue Reading

This example of paste-up street art on Ludlow St. in the Lower East Side of New York forces the viewer to consider the issue with the image of a child victim of violence. The piece is a drawing of a little girl’s disembodied head, her right eye blackened and herContinue Reading

Ah, the good old summer block party. A New York City nabe wouldn’t be the same without one, especially when it’s the real old-school neighborhood kind, where the residents and business owners of a particular block get a permit, close off the street and pitch in for free food, drinkContinue Reading

Graffiti taggers and artists have been putting Krylon to all sorts of vehicles all over New York City for years. But for some reason these ubiquitous delivery trucks in Chinatown seem to get “bombed” the most. This vehicle, parked on the Bowery near East Broadway, sports a large, colorful “throw-up”Continue Reading

The sides of tenements and lofts along Houston St. in downtown NYC are perfect for hanging building-size ads. Not only is the street one of only a few major crosstown traffic arteries, but it cuts through the city’s hippest shopping and entertainment districts. Location in part explains this gargantuan sexed-upContinue Reading

To many New Yorkers, an NYPD patrol car is a sign of security, holding the line against crime and keeping the streets safe. To others, the arrival of a police cruiser in their community is a sign of racism, corruption and oppression. Whatever the point of view, the police areContinue Reading

This spray-painted claw by the graf writer “Claw” is a familiar graffiti icon of downtown New York, though it’s not nearly as widespread as some others. Sometimes the claw is blue-white, sometimes red-white or some other color and white. Usually a word is written over the claw. In this photo,Continue Reading

Ever read that book “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell? It explains how evolving, collective social preferences build up a nascent trend to that moment–the tipping point–when it reaches critical mass, goes super nova and becomes unavoidably visible, like trucker hats a couple of years ago or Starbucks in theContinue Reading

We found this piece of street art on the side of a tenement building in Little Italy, in New York City. The oddly-shaped poster features a black-and-white rendering of an American television icon, the late French actor Hervé Villechaize. The actor was a short person who endeared himself to millionsContinue Reading

Found this blitzkrieg of ad bills for Apple’s popular portable MP3 music player, the iPod. These ads are everywhere in New York City and especially in the downtown hipster neighborhoods. But here on cobblestoned Broome St., between Chrystie and the Bowery in Chinatown, we came across this massive number ofContinue Reading

Last week, Bloomingdales, the grand, old New York City department store, went downtown–way downtown–to lower Broadway in SoHo, where it opened a second Manhattan store in a cast-iron, loft-style building. The decor of the new retail-fashion palace is a mix of Bloomingdales’s dependable uptown restraint and high-style downtown chic. OneContinue Reading

There seems to always be some kind of major building renovation in progress in Lower Manhattan, where today’s sweat shop is being gutted and turned into tomorrow’s luxury condo. The result is that all sorts of junk from the turned-out or torned-down structures end up on the street like theseContinue Reading