Pix here at the scene of artists putting the final spray-paint touches on a mural honoring punky New York hip-hop greats the Beastie Boys and one of its late members, MCA (Adam Yauch). The graffiti artwork is at the intersection of Rivington and Ludlow streets in the heart of New York’s Lower East Side, and at the site of what was once — long before the neighborhood was gentrified — a low-rent clothing shop called Paul’s Boutique. A photograph of the store appears on the album cover of the Beastie’s classic 1989 album titled “Paul’s Boutique.” The shop has long since closed, and a series of cafes and restaurants have occupied the premises over the years with the subsequent waves of gentrification.
In June, Tokyo Bike opened one of it’s minimalist bicycle shops on the Bowery, in New York City’s Lower East Side. The location is prime and puts the shop square in the heart of downtown’s art, culture and style scene: The New Museum is across the street, fashion photographer Terry Richardson’s studio is down the block, Helmut Lang is a few doors down the street, and dozens of art galleries and hip boite dot the surrounding border area where the LES meets Nolita.
It’s the first stateside store of the independent Japanese bike brand, and currently it’s only planned as a summer pop-up store. But depending on public reception and sales this summer, the company may be opening a permanent home in the city in the near future.
Tokyo Bike’s bicycles are designed in Japan, built (like most of the world’s bikes) in Taiwan, and designed with the concept of “slow” urban cycling, where the experience of an easy-going bike ride in the city trumps concerns for speed and high-performance. That said, TB’s bikes are remarkably light (perfect for carrying up and down the stairs of an NYC tenement apartment building) and styled with an understated, elegant minimalism.
New York artist Bradley Theodore strikes again with a new piece of street art in New York’s Lower East Side. Continuing with his series of images depicting fashion-world celebrities as impressionistic, colorful skeletons, Bradley has painted this full-body portrait of style icon Nick Wooster on a door to the popular downtown bar-club-restaurant Hotel Chantelle on Ludlow Street.
The phrase “I need a Miracle” is the latest cryptic message to appear on the billboard on the side of building at the northeast corner of Delancey and Orchards streets in the heart of New York City’s Lower East Side. Previous messages have included “I can’t grow up,” and at other times the ad-space has been filled with commissioned original artwork. The billboard is a playful art-space run by the creative agency Wallplay, which also uses the retail space in the building to which the billboard is attached.
Literally within 24 hours of our previous post about the blank black-painted wall on Ludlow Street (“the Ludlow Street Art Gallery”) in New York’s Lower East Side, somebody took a spray-can to the wall and tagged it in a large silver-paint scrawl of graffiti in the crudest way. It would be awesome to actually see some real art instead. But the graffiti signifies the first volley returned after the wall was repainted a day earlier in the ongoing cat-and-mouse game of what the wall looks like.
Artist Magda Love is back in New York City with some wild-posting of her illustrated-graphic street art. This retro-cassette tape wheat-pasted art piece by Magda went up Wednesday morning (Tuesday night?) on Ludlow Street, in that stretch just south of Grand Street we’ve dubbed the “Ludlow Street Art Gallery” in the Lower East Side.
A declarative fashion-edict cliche “Minskirts are Back” is painted in a cartoonish, woodsy typeface on this storefront roller shutter on the Bowery south of Delancey in New York’s Lower East Side. This is one of many street art pieces on storefront shutters along the Bowery commissioned as part of a local art project started by the new Museum of Contemporary Art a few years ago.
Pictured here is a super-fresh street art wheat-paste illustrated image of a boy with a Kalashnikov automatic rifle by artist “Teacake” on Ludlow Street in New York’s Lower East Side. As we’ve mentioned in previous postings over the past year or so, the short stretch of Ludlow Street just south of Grand Street is gradually evolving into a fertile “street art gallery.” It’s perfectly suited as a canvas for street art given that on each side of the street is a window-less, door-less 20-meter-long wall, sides of a buildings that face each other.
The Lower East Side-based street artist Lady Millard alerted us to a super cool Kickstarter campaign for an upcoming preview exhibition for the “UNDER ONE ROOF: Art for the Arts” project. The show is planned as a kind of guerilla exhibition of street art and its influence on contemporary popular culture. The show is part of a larger project involving a group of some 50 artists that is renovating and turning an old brownstone house in the Bronx into a shared, public live-in artist studio space. The campaign is to fund the exhibition, as well as a documentary about Under One Roof. The show runs from May 17 – 30 and will include artwork by artists such as Swoon, Ben Frost, Street Level Culture, and 4Fun, as well as work by Lady Millard herself.
When we first saw this large street art piece by artist Serban Ionescu and David Nordine on Ludlow Street in New York’s Lower East Side in June 2013, they were literally watching the paint dry as they put finishing touches on their roller-shutter mural. At the time, the art work was shadowed and partially obscured by construction scaffolding, as their painting was on a building that was in the throes of renovations that would turn it into luxury condos. The scaffolding was taken down a couple of weeks ago allowing the work to be viewed anew in direct, natural light. We revisited the work and it looks awesome, as seen in the photo below. You can check it out in person on Ludlow Street between Grand and Hester streets in the LES.
Lately we’ve started popping into the recently opened Happy Bones Coffee a lot. (See pix below.) Happy Bones is a
n Aussie Kiwi-staffed espresso cafe in downtown New York City. It’s a tiny place with three tables on an short, less-remarkable stretch of Broome Street in the ill-defined, mashed-up border area where Chinatown, Little Italy, SoHo and Nolita all converge at the Lower East Side’s western edge.
Happy Bones serves up a solid menu of third-wave coffee brews and espresso drinks, including an honest “flat white.” Their coffee is roasted and supplied by Counter Culture (its barista training center is a couple of blocks away). But what really strikes us about the cafe is its decor, the clever design and clean style of the small space, which is drenched in a white minimalist color scheme that’s warm and inviting rather than cold and stark. A skylight and floor-to-ceiling glass frontage draw light into the place and give it some comfortable airiness.
The cafe has a legit downtown-culture and art vibe. A playlist of mostly 1980s and ’90s British music invariably is playing over the sound system (tunes by the likes of the Clash, Specials, Blur, etc.) and a collection of coffee-table art and photography books are on sale next to bags of coffee beans.
BTW … what’s with all the Australian expat baristas and bartenders in NYC these days? Seems like an invasion, and we <3 it. (The Kiwi invasion, too.)
This street art mosaic image of “Snow White” is by the French artist Invader (a.k.a., “Space Invader”) on the wall of a diner in New York City. The artwork is made up of small tiles like all of Invader’s street art pieces, but the use of the animated Disney character Snow White represents a sharp departure in the pop-culture imagery the artist is famous for referencing, namely the iconic graphics of 1980s videogame Space Invader. The “Snow White” artwork pictured above is at the corner of Delancey and Essex streets in New York’s Lower East Side and near the famous “blue” condo building (left) by architect Bernard Tschumi.
Artist Bradley Theodore‘s street art of recent months is a series of portraits depicting iconic fashion-world celebrities — such as Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld, and Diana Vreeland — as colorful, impressionistic skulls. His recent work pictured below is of infamous downtown photographer and Vice magazine alum Terry Richardson on the exterior wall of a pizza joint on Allen Street in New York’s Lower East Side.