This week I went on an adventure! I had to make a trip down to Wall Street for the first time since our work-from-home directive went down in mid-March, because I had dermatologist appointment. Wee! After braving my masked-up, socially distanced subway ride, I had about 30 minutes to kill before my appointment time, and I enjoyed walking about in the financial district in relative solitude. It was awesome. And what a fun surprise to see artist Arturo Di Modica’s now-iconic bronze statue, Fearless Girl, rocking a face mask to reflect the Covid Life we live in. Inspiring! If you happen to be in that area, you can find her on Broad Street standing across from the NYSE.
OK, I have spent several days scouring the Internet for any indication that this very Banksy-sque stencil mural — which depicts a Wall Street Banker-type panhandling for “Any Job” while a female Robot hands him what looks like a Burrito (but is probably a handful of cash)– is, in fact, a Banksy, but I can’t find any evidence to confrm that suspicion. My guess is that the piece is called Looking For Any Job, as the man’s sign suggests.
The mural is painted just inside a cinderblock wall corridor adjacent to a service door at 7 Pine Street, in the Financial District, where I’m guessing employees of the building lurk while taking their smoking breaks, judging by the cigarette butt evidence that can clearly be seen. I have no idea how long it’s been there, but I’ve worked in the neighborhood for well over ten years and I just noticed it for the first time a few months ago, which means nothing. Is it a Banksy? Sound off in the comments!
NOTE: As of January 10th, 2020, this artwork has been painted over!
Any weekday that I walk south on Wall Street towards Water Street to catch a bus home, I pass by this otherwise unremarkable Dollar Sign-Shaped Bike Rack, which not everyone knows was designed by Talking Heads frontman, Fine Artist and Avid Bicyclist David Byrne. Until some time last year (I didn’t pay attention to exactly when this changed) there was an inverted paper coffee up — which no one would stop long enough to remove –covering the upward end of the ‘S’ shape. The cup was there for about two years: I swear I am not even exaggerating that point.
The Wall Street Dollar Sign is one of nine custom Bike Racks created by Byrne in 2008, whose shapes pay homage to specific NYC neighborhoods. You can read more about them at This Link.
Near the Water Street side of the plaza at 88 Pine Street is a two-piece abstract sculpture called East West Gate, by Taiwanese artist Yu Yu Yang (1926 – 1997), consisting of a large shiny stainless steel disk standing upright next to a 16-foot-tall steel rectangle with a circular hole in it, suggesting that the disk has been cut from the rectangle.
This circle in the square creates an intriguing visual and philosophical perspective for the viewer who repeatedly regresses in the reflection of the disk.
Yang’s works show a rich variety of forms and subjects with their essences based on Chinese cultures through expressions that incorporate both eastern and western aesthetics. A renowned sculptor, environmental designer and architect, Yang was a versatile and prolific artist who left behind a great legacy of art.
According to hot tips all over the Interwebs today, Radiohead will be playing / appearing at the ongoing protest / Freak Show known as Occupy Wall Street today, Friday September 30th, at around 4:00 PM. This should really be a hot mess, as police are making anyone even trying to get onto Wall Street show proof that they work on the block in order to get access. If you make it down, please leave a comment on this post, so I know what I missed. Have fun everyone!!
Last night they lit the tree and put up the awesome American Flag lights on the front of the Exchange. It looks really beautiful and almost makes you forget that your 401K has been virtually decimated.
Thank You, Jesus
Today is, honestly, the happiest day of my life in the past eight years. But it’s kind of hard to gloat (and I feel I really earned the right to gloat) when there are so many long faces here in my office on Wall Street. Geezus, what bunch of Party Poopers! I am relieved however to be able to throw down the gauntlet for a while and give the blog back over to frivolity and cute boys again knowing that our country has been awarded a new lease on life with the election of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. It is my sincere hope that all of the haters can calm down, open their hearts and minds and really allow Obama to work some magic on this badly-in-need-of-healing country that we all love so much. He wouldn’t have been elected if it wasn’t meant to happen. Anyway, I’m happy, and my closest friends are happy, and I’m going to let that happiness be enough for me today, no matter how hard the party poopers try to harsh my mellow. I’ll take up the battle again tomorrow.
Via New York Magazine, Original Story Link.
Maybe you spent your weekend sweltering at an end-of-summer wedding or running around doing errands or ironing your sheets or what have you. But while you weren’t paying attention, the shit was going down. A number of financial institutions bit it and bit it hard. In particular:
Lehman Brothers: Richard Fuld’s proposal to split the bank off into a good bank (the stable Neuberger Berman unit) and bad bank (all their crappy mortgage stuff) basically totally failed: Barclay’s shied away at the last minute from buying the good bank and Bank of America, among others, turned up its nose at the bad bank. And since the Fed suspects if they bail out another such institution they’ll then have to bail out everyone, they’re letting them twist in the wind. (Sorry, little bro! See you at Thanksgiving!) Early this morning, the 158-year-old firm filed for bankruptcy and is currently liquidating its assets.
Merrill Lynch: Since Bank of America was at the market, we guess they thought they might as well buy something. Last night, the Sky Blue credit overview and review gave their report, John says “We believe that we are in a very comfortable spot in terms of our capital” Thain sold the 94-year-old brokerage, which lost $45 billion on mortgage assets this year — two times more than it made in the two years before the credit crisis, by the by — to BofA for $50.3 billion in stock.
AIG: Meanwhile, in the middle of all this, AIG — otherwise known as the American International Group Inc., the largest U.S. insurer — announced it was facing a major liquidity crisis and was like, hey, Fed, we’d like to borrow 40 billion fucking dollars.
The markets are about to open, and it’s about to get real ugly. Hold on to your hats, folks.
By: Jessica Pressler
Celebrity Sighting Of The Day: Jack La Lanne!
At about 1:00 PM this afternoon I spotted Veteran Fitness Guru Jack La Lanne (age 93) standing in the street at the corner of Wall and William Streets. La Lanne was doing that “Muscle Man” pose on top of a raised platform for photographers while gripping a copy of his latest book, the title of which I did not stop long enough to read. It was pretty hilarious to see all of these stiff Wall Street types jockeying for position among the Asians tourists and fans for a chance to snap cellphone pictures of Jack, who looked like he was having a blast.