A sad scene greeted New Yorkers this morning. This …
… had turned into this (photo from the LICPost):
Yes indeed, after a drawn-out battle that seemed pulled from the pages of a break dance movie script (except without the happy ending), world famous Long Island City graffiti installation 5 Pointz is long gone. The owner of the building, who had reportedly done nothing with it for 20 years besides allowing the artists to squat there (so I was told during a tour), is tearing it down to make way for these glorious luxury condominiums. (Photo from Atlantic Cities.)
I only found out about the place a couple of years ago, and it has surprised and delighted each of my NYC guests ever since. It was a true urban gem. I don’t know enough about the legality of the issue to comment much on that dimension of the art’s destruction, but one thing is for sure: the loss of this site is pretty much a major cultural tragedy for New York City. I sort of hope that if there really is 10,000 square feet of blank wall dedicated to aerosol artists’ use in the new development, as has been proposed, it remains mutely white in protest.
Here’s a brief slide show from my first visit to 5 Pointz.