Another day worth celebrating–I love maps. Useful, yet full of abstract and often mysterious beauty.
A few years ago I did a stitched map Sketchbook Project of Main Streets based on Google Maps. Google Maps are a mainstay of any traveling I do into unfamiliar territory. That softball field in Queens? It’s right there, along with the nearest subway stop.
There actually is a Main Street in NYC, and I stitched it (above right), but it’s on Roosevelt Island, the entirety of which has always seemed to me to be superimposed onto the five boroughs. The Real Main Street of New York City? For almost 40 years, I’ve lived on or steps from Broadway, which travels from the bottom of Manhattan to the Bronx and 18 miles north to Sleepy Hollow.
That’s my Main Street.
They’re digging up Broadway
at night the clatter of wheels over metal plates
provides a rhythmic accompaniment to music from car stereos
double-parked outside the 24-hour deli on the corner
Sunday mornings the finery of congregants mingles with
the dog walkers
and the finery of the refugees from Saturday night
Headlines announcing Politics As Usual
step into the street dance
the Daily News of space and Times
“They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway…”
blinking red hand
“They say there’s always magic in the air…”
neon green walk
Lyrics borrowed from “On Broadway” by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil in collaboration with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. (The Drifters, 1963)
Thanks to Charlie at Doodlewash for inviting everyone to share his “month of days”.
One day last fall I’m walking down Broadway and I see someone painting on one of those metal gates that come down over stores when closed. It’s a bird…I think it’s a crow…cool!! A photographer with tripod is nearby. An art project?
A few days later in the NY Times: a photo of the bird, the painter, and an explanation.
After reading about the National Audubon Society’s “Birds and Climate Change Report”, Avi Gitler, Hamilton Heights gallery owner (Gitler &_____ Gallery), was inspired to commission a series of murals depicting some of Audubon’s birds.
Painted on security gates and buildings on the west side of Broadway between 149th and 150th streets, they add life and color to the neighborhood, as well as hopefully increasing awareness of how climate change is reducing and altering habitats for birds (and–once again I might add–for humans).
It is also a fitting tribute to John James Audubon, the bird artist, who once lived in the area, and is buried in Trinity Cemetery.
You can see my post on Trinity Cemetery here: https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/halloween-countdown-trinity-cemetery/
and the rest of the “Endangered Species” series here: https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/category/painting/endangered-species/