Reading the Streets: On the waterfront at Greenpoint
NEW YORK – Greenpoint’s waterfront was once a sleepy collection of warehouses and a spot to see Manhattan’s skyline, but just as the neighborhood has attracted increased attention, so has its waterfront. There’s now a ferry terminal next to those giant warehouses, and how one can visit the neighborhood without first checking the temperamental whims of the G train. Since 2009, the India Street Mural Project has welcomed visitors to the waterfront with a series of murals by six artists.
Contributions vary widely. First, there’s the seemingly straightforward “Welcome to BK” by Skewville on one wall, which on closer inspection reveals a man wearing an eye patch and an enigmatic look on the B, and a group of children wearing bright red hats on the K. Perhaps they are some of the people visitors can expect to meet when they get off the ferry?
Moving away from the water is Ali Asch’s “Untitled,” in shades of pale blue and sea-foam green. There are three people on a boat doing backbends all in a row, like cheerleaders. Each of them hosts another group of kids playing at a table balancing on their stomachs. The sea part of mural is quite relaxing, though the flexible boat owners are a reminder of exactly how inflexible I am, and how I couldn’t balance a small group of children on my stomach.
Closer to the street than the water is a neon pink rocket (or spaceship) rising out of gray clouds, with orange flames. Since I’d hate to think that anything that pink was being used for violence, I choose to believe it’s a spaceship, going to a new planet, hopefully near Greenpoint full of equally fluorescent structures.
The India Street Mural Project was sponsored by the North Brooklyn Art Coalition and the office of council member David Yassky. It aims to bring some artistic life to the industrial space.
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