Monday, September 22, 2008

Beautiful Pollution

In the dying light, everything is beautiful.
Smokestacks spew fiery incandescence
Into the cool dark sky.

There is beauty in the nameless stolidity
of the warehouses, faceless factories
dotting streets forgotten by all
but the tired souls leaving behind
another day's work and the graffiti guerrillas
Arriving for the nightshift.

Waterways weave
Almost naturally through concrete and crud,
Reflecting oily moonlight as they snake their way to the sea.

Do the tower keepers reflect upon such sites from high above the clouds?
Or do all the cracks and scuff marks, street stencils and the dusty drunks,
The stray kittens and their curious curators*, do all of these meld
into a blurry mass stretching out Eastward, haggard,
an industrial wasteland across the moat?


*Allow me to show you.
wait, hold on a minute...
Ok cool, now it's on right.

Prior to taking the photos from the poem, I was riding my bike and came upon a dead-end at Newton Creek's edge that told me to stop and stay a while. Not because it was anything near hospitable-looking. To be honest, it was a rather unremarkable dead-end overgrown with virile weeds and and discarded pleasantries. The only point of interest was the sea of Ketel One trucks parked pleasantly together in the lot next door.

Yet something else made me dismount the Green Goblin. Upon venturing through the light brush I discovered a legal dumping zone of sorts, a pipe spewing water into the creek. The prominent plaque above it verified its legality.

The warehouse across the creek looked lonely in the late afternoon.

And the Empire State stood boldly, silently silhouetted against a rosy sky.
And then I saw an SUV pull up right behind my unlocked, nubile bicycle. I started walking to the scene, convinced with 100% certainty that I would have to thwart the theft of my second bicycle in a row. The previous ride was snatched from right inside my front door in Allston. In broad daylight. In a house with six other guys. Now I understand my Dad's amazement when he'd return from a night away to find my bathroom door broken, again, clearly by sheer drunken force during what obviously was a high school party the night before... and I'd have no explanation or excuse, I just didn't know.

Anyway, the driver gets out and opens the back door, at which point a pack of skinny cats materialized from nowhere. The guy then pulls out a couple bags of Burger King and walks into the Ketel One parking lot (without a peep from the security guard) and sits down on the curb to unleash the feast upon the scraggly beasts. As the kittens lapped at milk from makeshift containers and ate what I'm pretty sure was actual Burger King fare, I realized my gut had been right about telling me to stop there.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hilarious Night Back In Boston

These are photos I discovered on my camera from a drunken night back in Allston Rock City. I was the square reminding everyone of the piles of hilariously-flammable dry leaves sitting perilously close to the flames. Andrew Lewis, pictured above and below, was truly a rock star on this evening. Check out the link to his myspace page. He's got some good tunes.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Graffiti Mecca

If street art were a religion and I were a devout follower, five times a day I would use a compass to kneel facing the corner of Jackson Avenue and Crane Street in Long Island City, and I would pray to the Gods of Graffiti. Luckily that's not the case. But just as luckily, I got the chance today to check out the Graffiti Mecca that is 5 Pointz, an ever-changing graffiti museum that sits across the street from the MOMA's auxiliary museum PS 1 (shown below).

5 Pointz is a block-long warehouse that was converted into a bunch of artist studios. Graffiti artists from around the world come to tag the outer and inner walls as well as the roof. Apparently the gatekeeper of this wonder is well-known street artist Meres, A.K.A. Jonathan Cohen (a Jew graffiti artist?), who decides who can paint and how long the art can remain on the walls.

Another cool thing about this place is it's across the street from International Delights, whose delights sent heavenly scents wafting down the block as I took pictures on an empty stomach.

The squeaky clean exteriors of the International Delights delivery trucks is proof that graffiti artists are not all vandals with no respect for other people's property. So what if they need a little reminder?

I only had time to take pictures of one outer wall, which you'll see still offered me plenty of eye candy to capture. Upon my return, I'll try to photograph the other outer walls, and maybe even try to get a tour of the inside and roof, the latter of which I caught a glimpse while taking the 7 train (see below) out to the U.S. Open the night Roddick beat Gulbis, a tenacious Latvian with a knee-buckling drop shot. That train ride was the first I'd seen or heard about this place, and I was immediately captivated.

Now, without further ado, I present to you the best of the graffiti on one the Crane Street side of 5 Pointz. As I said earlier, more trips to this place and accompanying photographs will follow soon.

I don't know why, but I love this little carrot

Crew: Xin of Japan.

Crew: Neopen of France

Crew: TD4

Previous four photos showed art by MSG

Previous two pieces by Meres

Previous three photos showed art by: EAD, Yours, Rezo, Stook, Yama

Don't know who's responsible for this, but I'd like to!

Previous three photos showed art by: TNB, 156, KD, RMA

Crews: IWS, 6 Cents, Detour, Sacred

Previous three photos showed art by: Part, Sire, Ms. Bles, MTR, Shiro, Prisco

What is this, the outside of one of those hilariously shitty 'scary' rides at a second rate carnival?

Breakfast Club art by: Dvate, Ethix, Demer Dabs & Myla

Crews: MSG (see link from before) and OM

Middle piece by DZ (deceased, from NJ)

Top piece by CMYK
Middle piece by TPA
Bottom piece by CMYK

Top piece by Mynor
Middle piece by BAD Inc
Bottom piece by TD4 (see link above) and AK

Top piece by iFone
Middle piece by Part TDS

Bottom piece by Wallnuts

Crew: Fat Poo. How clever.

Must be the brother of the evil drug skeleton on the back of the Honkey Lips Hearse

Crew: NSA

Ok, I got too lazy to find the artist info for every goddamn photo. I didn't realize what a monster I had created until I look at the clock and it's two hours after I first uploaded the photos! If you want to know who painted a piece, click on the picture and look for yourself!