New York City, NY

The City as a Canvas

Remington Write

Are we ready to call it art, though?
Graffiti in the Village /Photo byTammy Remington

There were a couple of taglines fighting for primacy over the past year or so in New York. Which one has been winning depends on where you live and how well — or poorly — you came through the past couple of years.

To the kids who were raving in Washington Square Park last summer or in warehouses in Bushwick (and maybe still are), the clear winner is New York is BACK! Eat the rich. Sleep all day and dance all night. Make art. Make music. Make a mess.

To the guy who got stabbed on a nearby subway platform a year ago the more apt tagline is The Bad Old Seventies are BACK! Can we get just a little gentrification going on, huh?

Some of the graffiti around the city begs the question: exactly which version of New York City is coming back? This isn’t usually creative, wild, artistic expression. It’s scrawled and angry and messy. Kind of like our so-called recovery from the pandemic. It is over, isn't it? Wait. Where's my mask?
Some creativity peeks through /Photo byTammy Remington
But not always /Photo byTammy Remington
In fact, not very often at all /Photo byTammy Remington

Scrawling, sprawling, mad and mean as it looks, there’s still an energy there calls to our inner anarchist. Are you seriously telling us that after all the death and suffering of the past year we’re still not anywhere near having universal health care in this money-grabbing country? What happened to the Green New Deal and canceling student loan debt? You really mean that we’re expected to just line up and go back to work if we’re “lucky” enough to still have a job?

Yeah, no. Hand me that spray can, bub!
Maybe they were just in a hurry /Photo byTammy Remington

This all reminds me of my cantankerous old friend, Peter, and what he would have made of this increasingly mad world of ours. Pete’s snarled mantra was New York isn’t New York anymore. I suspect he’d probably sneer we ain’t seen nothing yet.

Just wait. As the rich profit from the agonies of our plague year, we could be on the brink of much worse. Proxy war with Russia anyone? Total climate meltdown maybe?
Uninspiring /Photo byTammy Remington

The psychics and the pundits are stumped. They’ll offer plausible-sounding platitudes, but they’re as much in the dark as the rest of us.

Nice that one street tagger is seeing things in a brighter light…even if they’re completely wrong.
Yeah, no. Unlikely /Photo byTammy Remington

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Covert dilettante with an omnivorous capacity for wonder. Writing because I can't not write. Always watching for the hidden patterns and connections. I don't know I cannot fly..........and so I do.

New York City, NY

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