5 Pointz: Remembering New York City’s Graffiti Mecca

I figured I’d do a Wayback Wednesday today.

So… whilst struggling which destination to write on, I stumbled upon an old album which I hold so dearly in my heart. 5 years ago, I attended a Model United Nations in San Francisco and so the thought of traveling from West to East for 3 months came to my head. And, NYC, ladies and gentlemen, was easily my top favorite. Alright, I blame Carrie Bradshaw for this. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a city person but the city that never sleeps is really one of its kind. The crowd. The honking cabs. The glorious tall buildings. The beautiful skyline. A peaceful stop amidst the city. Those flashing lights. Oh, God. Can someone just take me back to New York right now?

But there was this one particular place that I fell in love with — 5 Pointz. Named after the 5 boroughs of NYC: Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, this large-scale collage of graffiti art in Long Island used to be an art haven for artists and daily exhibit for commuters and street art enthusiasts around the world. Not only was it a tourist attraction, drawing thousands of spectators from around the world but it also formed a backdrop to the 2013 movie, “Now You See Me,” and a site for an Usher tour. Cool, right?

Sadly, it was completely destroyed in September 2013 when the building’s owner, Jerry Wolkoff, decided to sell the building to developers. It’s been reported though that he had conceded he allowed the spray-paint artists to use the buildings as a canvas for a considerable length of time yet said they generally knew they would be torn down someday. And now that the battle to save 5 Pointz is clearly over, all we have now are beautiful memories of these beloved aerosol art soaked buildings.

New York City is one of the places in the world that caters to real art for chrissake. And destroying 5 Pointz was a real killer to the city’s art scene. I’m no graffiti artist but it truly was devastating. Could this really be yet another sign of big money and development once more ruling all else?  However, with that said, I am still in awe to think how much art can bring different people together to shout one voice.

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I love this place so much that even years have gone by, I sure have not really quite moved on from it yet. I could still recall that exact moment when I just wanted to stay for one whole day and stare at each and every single artwork that was painted on the walls.

On a lighter note, a huge settlement for the artists made 5 Pointz a cultural landmark early this year. YESSSS. But still, the damage has been done, hey? I mean, this isn’t just an art right here, folks…

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“As long as this place isn’t hurting anybody, why not leave it alone? It’s a form of public art.”

TOTALLY…


Do you guys know any places that are as cool as 5 Pointz? If so, please let me know in the comment section below! 

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jnomarie

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