Madonna and Child Neon-Look Mural by Straker on East 3nd Street at 1st Avenue (All Photos By Gail)
Hello and welcome to week two of my ass-kicking East Village Life. In this week’s edition, we will walk through a virtual gallery of assorted street art and public art pieces that I’ve passed by on my weather-permitting daily walks in and around my neighborhood. Enjoy!
Hektad is a name that you’re going see a few times in this post, as his optimism-infused artworks are all over the East Village, especially in the First Street Green Art Park, located on First Street at First Avenue. Since this photo was taken, I believe the park has temporarily closed due to the Covid as it was attracting crowds. And we can’t have that.
Here are a couple of additional Hektad pieces on 11th Street just East of First Avenue. These are side by side, adjacent to this monumental piece by Kobra.
It does not get much more NYC than this mural of King Kong by French graffiti artist Moi One (@moi.one). Find it next to David’s Cafe on St. Mark’s Place near Tompkin’s Square Park.
This colorful tile mosaic by Jim Power, known locally as the Mosaic Man, marks the intersection of Avenue A and St Mark’s Place. Jim composes all of his intricate pieces from up-cycled china, glass, pottery and found objects to create unique, site specific works of art. His mosaics are all over the neighborhood.
Platform Diving consists of seven glass mosaic murals commissioned by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority for the Houston Street subway station (at Varick Street) and installed in 1994 on the walls of the northbound and southbound subway platforms of the 1 Train, and in a waiting area by the token booth.
The mosaics depict undersea creatures — turtles, beluga whales, octopi, seals, and a manatee–swimming through the subway tunnels, platforms, and passenger cars. Occasionally, humans observe their movements. The concept behind the choice of imagery was to represent a fanciful, surreal encounter between the world we normally inhabit and the one we might encounter when we descend below the surface.
What’s so crazy is that these murals have been up for nearly 20 years, and I just them for the first time in early September, because I never get off at this stop.
No matter where I am, I love having a new adventure. Just last month, I spent a few days vacationing in Boston (my first visit) on the back end of a cruise to Bermuda (recommended) and was a bit overwhelmed by all of the fun things there are to see and do in this historic, seaside city. If you find yourself in Boston and want to make the most of your time there, I suggest making a point to check out the New England Aquarium, a destination which is fun for all ages!
I have visited public Aquariums all over the country and would say that the New England Aquarium is comparable in size and scope to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, although it also has many impressive distinguishing features.
The New England Aquarium, which opened in 1969, is a global leader in ocean exploration and marine conservation, and is one of the premier visitor attractions in Boston, with over 1.3 million visitors a year. It is a great place to bring kids because the focus is very much on education, and they have lots of animal shows and talks that you can attend for free as part of your paid admission. Please enjoy some photos and highlights from our visit!
One of the first things we did during our visit was attend a Fur Seal Training Session. Many of the seals at the aquarium were at one time sick or injured/abandoned animals that were rescued and rehabilitated at the facility where they now have a safe home.
There are moms and dads and brothers and sisters all living there together. The show is about 15 minutes and you get to meet a family of Fur Seals and hear facts about them while the swim and do simple tricks like waving and spinning around, being rewarded with some tasty fish. Kids will love it.
They have very interesting feet!
This one, above, is still a baby.
On the ground floor, there is a huge habitat for adorable African Penguins, where they have lots of informational signage about these birds as well as feedings, facts and presentations ongoing throughout the day.
It is lots of fun to watch them swim!
They have a huge touch pool also where you can “pet” the stingrays and small sharks. Everything is very well-supervised by Aquarium employees who give informational talks about the inhabitants of the touch pool.
This is a North Atlantic Right Whale Skeleton suspended from the ceiling, and below you can see the Penguins swimming.
The most impressive feature of the New England Aquarium is its four-story Giant Ocean Tank, located in the center of the building. The massive tank features a brand new coral reef, an underwater communications system and hundreds of Caribbean reef animals including sea turtles, stingrays, eels, small sharks and multitudes of colorful fish. I took the above photo from the very top of the tank just as a presentation was about to begin.
Be sure to pick up a visitor’s guide when you buy your ticket so you can check the schedule of all of the various talks, shows and presentations and plan your time to attend as many of them as you can.