There’s something to be said for staying put sometimes. There’s something magical about exploring things exactly where you are. The weird and wonderful is all around us—most of the time all it takes is a walk to discover it.
I walk nearly everywhere, and I’ve written before that New York City is enormous and reliable in its ability to rapidly change, so sometimes an old route inadvertently becomes a new one. Other times, I venture into territory that is entirely new to me, because the city’s enormity also guarantees that no one person can ever truly discover it all—there will always be uncharted territory. And then sometimes you’ll walk the same old route and experience that in the midst of change, some things stay almost exactly the same. Yesterday I walked around my own neighborhood, where I’ve lived for nearly 10 years, and experienced a bit of all three.
Walking all the way to the end of Greenpoint’s Manhattan Avenue, I discovered a new independently-owned record store, three new cafés, and at least four new restaurants. But above all, I discovered that there’s still more to see than just pollution when you reach the waterfront. The sculptures above have been there for years, perched atop a cement wall with the sky as their backdrop. Some have disappeared, but those three are still right where they were when I first noticed them five years ago, while hidden behind a gate stand two more. Many people have photographed and blogged about the sculptures over the years, but no one has been able to successfully attribute them to any one, known, artist.
Art is all around us, and those of us lucky enough to be living in north Brooklyn have become used to spotting it every day. As new buildings pop up and the waterfront changes, we’ve also become used to noticing it disappear more and more every day. It’s comforting to see a slice of the neighborhood containing unattributed art that hasn’t yet been bulldozed and built up.