We recently started seeing a random few of these wheat-paste street art images of a young, Jackson 5-era Michael Jackson appearing on walls around downtown Manhattan. But then this past weekend, these seemed to multiply exponentially and appear everywhere, from the Lower East Side to Brooklyn’s Greenpoint. In the LES, we counted dozens of the “Young MJs” on Ludlow Street alone. These Young MJ wheat-pastes are the work of a mysterious New York-based “celebrity stylist” and artist who goes by the moniker “UnCasso” (a.k.a., “UnCuttArt”). The “Young MJs” come in a variety of colors . In some cases, as pictured below, a single, larger image is composited with several pieces in different colors. Needless to say, we love ’em. This isn’t the first time the “King of Pop” has inspired street art.
We recently popped by Propellor Coffee in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on one of those interminable snowy days during this year’s remarkably harsh winter in New York City. This cafe is a solid, local ‘third-wave” coffee joint with much more generous space than many of the miniscule espresso bars that these days seem to be opening up every five seconds in NYC. The atmosphere is warm, mild, friendly, unobtrusive amid a decor of spare 1960s- and ’70s-era vintage furniture and walls filled with thematic, similarly aged and well-preserved photography of airplanes and airlines, in keeping with the spirit of the cafe’s name. The usual retinue of cafe punters are here, the laptop brigades and freelance designer/scriptwriter/fashion blogger types, and the local hipster coffee nerds. It’s a wonderful place to while away an hour or two on a lazy Saturday afternoon nursing a hot latte while reading an actual printed newspaper copy of the New York Times, checking your Instagram, and staying warm.
Super delicious macarons at Cafe Grumpy, an espresso bar and cafe in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, including the one pictured here with a cute broken heart graphic printed on it. Yummy! Pop-cultural reference: This Cafe Grumpy is used as the location set for the Cafe Grumpy that appears in Lena Dunham’s hit HBO television series Girls.
We caught artist Atom Rodriguez working on another of his many massive graffiti-art murals that dominate the buildings around the Kent Street industrial area near the waterfront between Williamsburg and Greenpoint, in Brooklyn. This one aptly enough is called “Brooklyn” and was still a work in progress when we ran into Atom early Thursday morning.