Monday, October 20, 2008

One Bank(sy) in NYC You'll Want to Know About

I'm going to be completely honest with you: for me, New York City has always been a toss-up. I'm usually not intimidated by large cities (at least for a visit), but something about NYC can seem overwhelming, dirty, congested, harsh...have I used enough cliche adjectives for you? In all my most recent trips to the Big Apple I guess when it comes down to it, I have spent the majority of my time in a bar or club, on a couch trying to "get over" that bar or club. Hangovers don't really lend themselves to wanting to hike around the city trying to find knock-off Rolex watches.

Truth be told, I did go to NYC a couple of times where site-seeing was the main goal. However, both times were before the age of 13 years old, and I think I may have been more concerned with getting a pressed penny at the top of the Empire State Building, rather than actually taking in the view (I do remember the Russian Tea Room was fun...but the memories are hazy).

This past weekend I had every intention to mature my appreciation for the "City". While I cannot confirm that my appreciation was totally matured, I can most wholeheartedly say that I have expanded my respect for the city that never sleeps - after all - getting drunk at a dive bar in one city is surprisingly similar to getting drunk at a dive bar in another city (okay - the bars do stay open longer, which is actually part of the problem).

So, after a very long Friday night, and a pretty long Saturday night, I found myself doing my standard Sunday afternoon stop on Canal Street to purchase approximately 20 "pashminas" for $10 (seriously it was 3 for $10, and while it is a tourist trap, you can find knock off everything), I was re-introduced to one of the wide range (as I am continually told) of things that makes NYC worth at least a weekend visit. Beyond the art in the MANY art museums around the city, graffiti and murals have been expanded into a true art form, that I think you can truly only see in big cities like NYC and London.* Currently, in SoHo & Chinatown, there are some great murals by a British graffiti artist named Banksy. Many of his pieces have a decidedly political feel while still remaining 'light-hearted'. I absolutely couldn't stop laughing at one of his murals that I came across while walking down Broadway - see, a global financial crisis can be funny:

Any time you travel keep an eye out for any piece of local culture that you can't see in a museum, they are always the things you will remember the most. I would also recommend that you check out the coffee table book called "Banksy", it is a great compilation showing some of the artist's other works (mainly pictures taken in London) - H-h-h-h-ilarious.

*Not a dig at you smaller cities! It just seems like NYC has given more opportunities to artists.


Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Banksy is fantastic! A while ago I found someone selling photographs of his graffiti on ebay:)

Molly said...

Hi Maryam! I actually had never heard of Banksy until this weekend, and then I started seeing these rat murals all over the place in NYC. Some of the pics that I saw on his website from New Orleans were really interesting as well.

Meriel said...

Jelly that you visited Bdiggs without me but proud you made it out and about on Sun.

Lil' Boozie said...

P.S. Molly, I forgot to tell you how clever your title for this post is.. seriously. I'm not even mad - it's amazing.