In March, I moved to Bushwick with my boyfriend and two of our friends. I had known about—and attended—the annual Bushwick Open Studios, but I had never really done much exploring in the neighborhood. I guess it depends on which train you take into the neighborhood. There are two ways to get to my place. You can take the L train to Morgan Ave, or the JMZ to Myrtle. I got into the habit of walking to the L train to go to work, because it was generally faster and more reliable for getting to work. The only downside about the L is that the walk home is longer and significantly less exciting than the walk from the JMZ. I mean, don’t get me wrong. After payday, the Morgan stop on the L is right up my alley. Head to Loom Yoga for some exercise (which I admittedly haven’t done since May), go to Brooklyn Natural Foods for an $8 cold pressed whatever (guilty of doing this many times and I hate myself for it), then do some light shopping at Friends (because I need that $35 candle OMG it smells exactly like roses and that’s so hard to find in candles because usually the floral scent is overpowered by the smoke), and maybe stop into that bougie furniture store because LOOK at how adorable those succulents are (and it’s $35 for the plant AND the pottery?! I’ll take it)! Other than those stores, a few fancy restaurants, the Bake Shop on the corner, and Catland (the “metaphysical boutique” that I’m convinced I need to purchase something from, but cannot justify spending so much on tarot cards and wiccan coffee table books), the rest of my walk is through a fairly industrial area, and kind of a pain. The JMZ stop is different. The train is above ground, so as soon as the doors open, the subway cars fill with Motown blasting from one of the bodegas below (however, one morning, it was the Cha Cha Slide?). After walking down the stairs from the subway platform, the Motown blends with the jazz music that Popeyes is always blasting (ambiance?), and there are usually men shouting at each other on the other side of the road. After crossing to my side of Broadway, I usually stop into my bodega of choice (Mr. Kiwi), and pick up some sort of fancy gluten free treat before walking home. What this walk home has that the other does not are the JMZ Walls:
by Damien Mitchell
by Atomico, Otto Schade, Arts and Graff, and Damien Mitchell
By BKFoxx, Zesoner, TMO Plater, and Himbad
The walls of the streets along the JMZ stop get new murals from different artists (I’m not sure of the frequency—perhaps a year). What I love most about them is that, aside from the occasional tagger, the murals are respected. If one of the murals does get tagged, it’s usually touched up almost immediately. I always thought the JMZ walls were really cool. What I didn’t realize is that we also have something in Bushwick called The Bushwick Collective. It’s an “outdoor gallery” of pieces by artists from all over the world. If I had to guess, I would say that there are at least 100 pieces in the neighborhood that are officially a part of the collective, and then perhaps 50 or so other murals that are not technically “in” the gallery, but are a part of a different collective (I’ve seen #bushwickstreetart and @spreadartNYC on some of them). I walked about 8 miles to capture as many of the murals as I could. What I photographed is a combination of the local pieces and the gallery pieces, and most of these can be found if you’re walking northeast on Troutman (my street). Please excuse any obstructions (like cars or people)!
This isn’t a part of anything, but these people painted this on their door and have Frida Khalo curtains, so parties at 286 Troutman are either lit, or filled with cocktails in Mason jars. Or both.
Also, this isn’t a part of anything either, but I’ve seen this a couple of times, and it’s so delightfully mysterious
… Now back to murals.
“cash paycheck, call grandma, paint that spot, don’t get arrested”
I had to read this three or four times because I thought it said “I fart is a crime.”
Girl, I feel you.
Working on a new one!
This is a beautiful one, but it’s been tagged because we just can’t have anything nice.
Another one of my favorites, vandalized. Pretty sure this one has been here since 2014.
Note the class war car….?
Okay, so then here’s a close up of the class war car.
So, the owner’s not says, “will not start, please no ticket” Then, a Good Samaritan left this note: “Call Me is Joe The Mecanic is Thames St” Amazing.
Again, I’m pretty sure I’ve missed a few, but these are the biggest ones around us! I’m excited to see what new pieces of art crop up, especially as some of the construction around us is completed. Less scaffolding=more canvases for artwork!
View more photos here