Tag Archives: graffiti

How I Found a Home in Jersey City and Got Steve Fulop Elected Mayor, Part 3

18 Jul

When the second installment ended I was photographing graffiti and had started volunteering in the Hamilton Park Neighborhood Association. There I found out that Janice Monson, who taught in the Jersey City schools and was a hardcore activist, used to take her students up on the Newport Wall and take their pictures upon graduation.

Back in November of 2006, before I’d shown up at an HPNA meeting, I was walking around, or perhaps I was in the car on the way back from my Sunday AM grocery run. One or the other, it doesn’t much matter. Anyhow, I spotted some color:

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That’s the stuff, says I, that’s the stuff. When I got closer, I noticed a ramp against a wall:

one old ramp now gone.jpg

And then this:

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Someone was obviously using this site—the floor slab of an abandoned industrial building of some sort—as a park for skateboarding and BMX bike riding. See:

bikez3

I took that one in July of 2007. Notice that the art on the walls has changed. It seems that some local, and not so local, graffiti writers used this site as something of an experimental gallery even as the skateboarders and BMXers used it to hone their athletic skills.

All off the books, so to speak. They were trespassing on this land. But no one cared. The cops certainly knew what was going on. Sure, it was a little off the beaten path, but only a little. The site’s not particularly remote or hidden. Oh, they knew, the cops. But why hassle the kids? They weren’t hurting anyone; the land wasn’t being used for anything. Let ‘em use it; keeps ‘em outa’ trouble. Continue reading

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How I Found a Home in Jersey City and Got Steve Fulop Elected Mayor, Part 2

17 Jul

By the end of the first part of this essay I’d made my way to Jersey City and bought a point-and-shoot camera. Jersey City was where I lived, but not my home. I had no home, unless it would be the virtual world of intellectual activity.

What that camera allowed me to do was to connect my intellectual world to Jersey City itself. It’s not merely that Jersey City is where I live and so where I conduct that intellectual activity, but that Jersey City itself became the subject of that intellectual activity. And more.

It’s 2004 and I return from my conference in Chicago with a camera full of photographs of Millennium Park. I turned them into an online exhibit that my friend (and one-time teacher) Bruce Jackson put online as a working paper. And I shelved the camera. Except every now and then I’d get it out and walk around taking photos, mostly of this and that.

In the Fall of 2006 I decided to photograph signs: street signs, billboards, signs on cars, storefronts, and, of course, graffiti tags, which were plentiful.

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I decided they might be particularly interesting. After all, this mural was just across the street from my apartment:

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What if there were more like that? Continue reading

Cops Paint Over Inwood Mural That Depicts NYPD as ‘Murderers’ – DNAinfo.com New York

29 Jul

INWOOD — The NYPD dispatched cops with paintbrushes to cover up a controversial mural on the side of an Inwood business Tuesday, after approaching the owner with concerns about its message, DNAinfo.com New York has learned.

A pair of plainclothes officers arrived at New Edition Cleaners at 4929 Broadway at 11 a.m. Tuesday, armed with buckets of black paint, rollerbrushes and drop cloths, and began painting over local graffiti artist Alan Ket’s five-day-old mural titled “Murderers.” The two identified themselves as police to a reporter.

The mural, which included the word “murderers” painted above several tombstones and coffins with epitaph names that included the NYPD, the Environmental Protection Agency and global corporations including Halliburton and Monsanto, was painted on the wall of the business with the permission of its owners.

SEE MORE PHOTOS

Officers visited the store on Monday, telling owners that the painting needed to come down and calling the message a “bad idea.”

via Cops Paint Over Inwood Mural That Depicts NYPD as ‘Murderers’ – DNAinfo.com New York.

Light at the end of the tunnel, but the writing’s on the wall…

14 Jul

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…and it doesn’t say “We love the 1%.”

No it doesn’t.

Innocent Screams

1 Apr

By Komar, a graffiti artist working in northern New Jersey and who knows where else. This is under the 14th Street viaduct in Jersey City, where it supports thousands of cars a day from Manhattan, through the Holland Tunnel, to points West.

Innocent Screams - Komar

The Old Chocolate Factory

28 Mar

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When van Leer Chocolates left Jersey City, they left these walls behind.

stairway to heaven, no guitar

No2War

13 Feb

This sign is by Jersey Joe, aka Rime. It used to be seen by 1000s of people a day as they drove West out of New York City from the Holland Tunnel. It’s no longer there; the building was demolished. But the aspiration hangs in the air.

no2war