The Covid Life walks have lead me to all sorts of unexpected, magical discoveries! That might have something to do with the fact that I am now regularly exploring streets that, three months ago, I did not know existed. Case in point: Columbia Street. “Where The Fuck is That” you ask? It’s on the LES near Delancey, and walking north it eventually turns into Avenue D. But it was on Columbia Street, that I saw this box truck idling in front of a grocery store, bearing Buff Monster’s awesome pink tag, along with his signature Mr. Melty character. Sweet.
On one not-so-sunny Saturday afternoon back in February, I went for a long walk — an Urban Art Safari as I like to call them — on the Lower East Side. This happened a full month before any kind of lockdown thing was even a glimmer of an idea, which you can tell because there are cars and people in the photos
I didn’t realize at the time what a valuable resource the photos I took that day would become, as they now provide much-needed content for this blog. It’s not been easy to wander far from home in these past five or six weeks. Who’s even keeping track? Anyway, it must have been a very long time since I’d walked this particular route, because I discovered all kinds of cool street art that had in some cases been up for six months or longer. Time flies when you don’t know what you’re doing.
At the intersection of Chrystie and Broome there’s a building whose tenant is Tienley Enterprises, Inc., a company that offers the wholesale distribution of Asian groceries and related products. The eastern and southern-facing sides of this building are covered with colorful murals by renowned street artists Buff Monster, and John “Crash” Matos with BR163, respectively. Both murals were part of the Lisa Project in conjunction with the World Pride Mural Project and went up in the late summer of 2019.
I like this photo mostly for the surprised-looking guy taking on his phone while smoking a cigarette. I didn’t even notice him when I took the photo. Now, I feel he deserves to be so immortalized forever.
Here’s an almost identical shot without the guy. Tell me in the comments which one you like better.
You guys already know Mister Melty, right?
Here’s a rare — and very much appreciated — flash of blue sky!
Once we can travel freely again, I will perhaps return to the scene and take a few fresh snaps, because the mural is so detailed. If I could get one without any cars on the street, that would be super sweet.
Here’s a pretty nice shot of the Crash BR163 collaborative mural, which covers the Broome Street side of the building.
These Murals are Located at 125 Chrystie Street, Northwest Corner at Broome Street on the LES, NYC.
Do you like Buff Monster? I sure do. If you are familiar at all with this world-famous street artist’s extensive body of work, then you know that his key creation is Mr. Melty, which is an anthropomorphic ice cream cone. This Hot Pink version of Mister Melty was a limited edition that was selling in the Clutter Magazine booth at last years Five Points Festival for about $275, I think. That sounds like a big chunk of change, but consider that this piece is also a highly-collectible work of art, and, you know, it’s kind of a bargain. Plus: Pink.
I feel no shame admitting that I had stuffed animals on my bed into my thirties. Despite being a grown adult with a day job, I still love and collect toys, and I especially have a sick fetish for Designer Art Toys. This is why the annual Five Points Festival is my jam. Thanks to this awesome blog, I was able to score press passes once again to this year’s Five Points Fest, which took place the first weekend in June. Since Geoffrey is no longer on-the-scene, so to speak, I brought along my photographer and Partner in Squee, Jamie, and we spent about 5 or 6 hours trawling through hundreds of tiny toys and using the words “Cute” and “Adorable” about one hundred million billion times, each. Just being serious. While many designer toys are limited editions that can sell for hundreds of dollars, it is also possible find dozens of captivating art toys at Five Points Fest that can be yours for as little as $10 each. Please enjoy my photos of some of the toys that we found to be most squee-worthy, and you will see how easy it can be to build an affordable toy collection that adds joy to your life.
Do you like Buff Monster? I sure do. This Hot Pink version of his Mister Melty creation is a limited edition that was selling in the Clutter Magazine booth for about $275, I think. That sounds like a big chunk of change, but consider that this piece is also a highly-collectible work of art. Clutter is a generous sponsor of Five Points Fest so I want to give them a big Shout Out, right now!
These cute little guys are called Squash Buddies ($8 each) and, yes, they are scented! Top Trenz is the manufacturer and they were found in the PIQ booth.
PIQ is also where I discovered this shameless Pusheen rip-off series of Fat Cats called Meowchi, by Tasty Peach Studios of Japan. Don’t be fooled by imitations! Demand Pusheen!
Why did I take a picture of the box but not the toy? Clever Idiots, indeed. Sushi Cat sells for $7.99.
Hey look; more cats for you Cat Lovers! This slothful feline is part of the Lazily Sitting Cat Series by Vivi Cat. There are nine different poses to collect (9 Lives = 9 Cats) which sell for $12.50 each, and they are from Pop Mart toys.
More Five Points Action After the Jump!
Street art legend Buff Monster created this surreal mural, depicting a variation on his signature theme of Hot Pink Anthropomorphic Ice Cream treats on the security gate for Bondy Export Corp, located a 40 Canal Street. The mural is part of the 100 Gates Public Art project.
If you haven’t been to Coney Island at least once this summer, you owe it to yourself to make the trip. Most residents of Manhattan who live, say, from midtown to the east village area, can make it from the door to the shore in under 90 minutes, depending on how the trains are running. And for half the ride, the trains run above ground, so that makes it a bit more interesting of a ride as well. Even if you are not a “Beach Person” (raises hand), and the rides at Luna Park make you barf (keeps hand raised) there is so much to see and do at Coney Island that all you need to have is an adventurous spirit, and maybe some sunblock.
If you are a street art lover, you will absolute want to plan a visit to see the Coney Art Walls, a public art project conceived by art dealer and curator Jeffrey Deitch, which is going to be up until Halloween. Coney Art Walls features more than 25 colorful murals created by some of the most well-known street artists in the world. We spotted many of our favorites artists including How & Nosm, Roa, Buff Monster, Kenny Scharf and Ron English, as well as a selection of artists who are still up-and-coming. It’s a great mix of talent.
The walls are interspersed with re-purposed cargo containers to create a pop-up truck food village, with food sold by vendors organized by Smorgasburg. Concerts are also held in the space.
Belgian artist Roa gets two adjoining walls to create a juxtaposed Rat and Rat Skeleton.
Coney Art Walls are located at 1320 Bowery Street right behind the original Nathan’s on Surf Avenue.
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While on a my way to a Fashion Week event, I spotted this very fun, psychedelic mural on the side of McQuaids Restaurant & Pub, located at the corner of 44th Street and 11th Avenue. At first, I thought it might be the work of Buff Monster, but it turned out to be by graffiti artists Ghost and Giz.
Here’s another shot.
The Mural is part of Animal NY’s Pub(lic) Art Project, which will see new murals by other street artists cycle through the space every few months. This one has been up since July, 2014.
The Jonathan LeVine Gallery is wrapping up the summer with a simply delightful group show that honors 10 Years of Wooster Collective – a website that helped to introduce Art from the Streets of the World into popular culture.
Many of the featured artists such as Dan Witz, Olek, How & Nosm, Judith Supine and D*Face exhibit regularly at LeVine, while others (Kenny Scharf, Liu Bolin, Ron English, TrustoCorp, Swoon) are WorleyGig favorites whose art has been covered many times on this blog.
Needless to say, but you can see I am about to, it was a huge treat to visit the exhibit this past weekend and see so many amazing works by favorite artists.
Other participating artists not mentioned above include: ABOVE, AIKO, Anthony Lister, Bast, Ben Eine, Blek le Rat, Bo130, Buff Monster, C215, Chris Stain, Cope2, Crash, DALeast, Daniel Sparkes, Dark Cloud, Doze Green, ELBOW TOE, Eltono, Faile, Faith 47, Galo, Hyuro, Invader, Jace, Jordan Seiler, JR, Logan Hicks, Ludo, Mark Jenkins, Martha Cooper, Mcity, Michael De Feo, Microbo, Miss Van, Paul Insect, Skewville, Skullphone, Stikman, , The London Police, Vhils, Vinz, Will Barras, WK, xoooox and Zevs.
10 Years of Wooster Collective, expertly curated by Marc and Sara Schiller, is only up through Saturday, August 24th, 2013, so don’t miss it! For this exhibit only, the LeVine Gallery space has moved to a ground floor pop-up location at 525 West 22nd Street (West of 10th Avenue) in the Chelsea Gallery District.