I was here . . .
After the recent election I posted Word on the Street, a photograph I took in the late summer of 2010. I thought it a particularly stunning work of graffiti art - I loved the brilliant colours, the bright rays of hope invested in the election of the youthful Barack Obama. The shading and the shadows, the highlights of nostalgia covered a long stretch of Lower East Side wall. Whether or not you agree that America made the right choice back in 2008 or now, Chico's exuberant confidence sits in Obama's raised right hand, a deft signature of urban artistry. The wonderful Charles from the Bronx, who regularly entertains with his Mostly Bright Ideas asked me where in the city was this graffiti? I knew where it was but, was it still there? I had to go and look . . . This is what I found - Graffiti comes and goes, Obama had his time in the LES sunshine - Like Chico, I moved on and wondered further down the Lower East Side through Alphabet City to Houston Street and the petrol station where the NYPD regulated the traffic queuing to fill empty tanks because of disruption to supplies by Hurricane Sandy. The man on the bicycle rode in from Queens, eleven miles "looking for gas. I got kids I gotta get to school. And then there's my job . . ." Behind the wall proclaiming The War I fell into a hole of blissful solitude . . . and here is where I was. Where? Downtown, straddled on one side by the constant traffic of Houston St and the large growing piles of garbage waiting for collection not only from East 2nd St but every street in town. Sanitation trucks were busy with Sandy business. Where? Here! Where sometimes you find what you didn't know you were looking for . . .