The Real Problem with Greenpoint’s Street Art Is That It’s Not Even Cool


  • c/o Hiroko Masuike via The New York Times

In Greenpoint, there are leafy streets, charming parks and bustling avenues. There is also a growing problem with graffiti, as the The New York Times points out. This compilation with graffiti appears to be threefold:

(1) It’s everywhere. “There is graffiti on brick walls and painted walls and on glass doors and poles. Trees are tagged with paint. Someone scrawled on a ‘Stop Bed Bugs’ sign on a remote corner. In the men’s room of the Manhattan Three Decker diner, someone wrote ‘Shy Guy’ on the plastic sign that says employees must wash their hands,” the Times observes. Jeff Mann, president of the Greenpoint Chamber of Commerce, goes as far as to call it an “epidemic.”

(2) This would at least be a little more tolerable, the Times infers, if it weren’t by the hands of talent-challenged street artists, if you want to call them “artists,” which is somewhat questionable in this case. Instead of vibrant murals, clever tagging, or anything resembling the work of Shepard Fairey for Brooklyn to brag about, Greenpoint’s version of the medium has been reduced to spray-painted scrawls and scribbles with passé bubble letters occasionally thrown into the mix. As such, the neighborhood’s Chamber of Commerce has spent more than $25,000 in paint over the last nine months in effort to cover it up.

(3) Deteriorating the cool factor even further, the so-called street artists might not even be local. Some of them might be from the Midwest, the mecca of all things unhip, amirite? (I’m from Ohio.) Mann says he’s heard that “People from the Midwest come here just to do graffiti” and later post the pictures online as part of (presumably) elaborate preening rituals for the heartland-based artists.

The takeaway here seems to be a resounding plea. Let the cries be heard: Save historic and beautiful Greenpoint from graffiti! But especially the lame kind!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here