Attention All Urban Photographers & Street Art Enthusiasts

April 24, 2009 by
Filed under: Culture War, Street Art, Williamsburg 


If you happen to be on River Street do not take a picture of this.


And sure as hell don’t shutterbug this.

Why, you ask? Because if you do it might result in you (and your husband) being questioned by New York’s Finest as to what you are doing. This is what happened to the Mister and I this evening.


Hello there, we see you’re taking photographs— why?

Miss Heather: I think the shadows and diagonals are visually pleasing.


We saw you take photographs of graffiti back there.

Miss Heather: Yeah, someone spray-painted the word “meat” on the wall and I found it interesting.

Because it’s sort of “beefy”?

Miss Heather: Exactly. I happen to be a vegetarian.

Seeing where this conversation was headed (nowhere good— and soon) the Mister jumped in and after some more “dialoging”, they left us to go about our business. Inasmuch as interfacing with the NYPD can be amicable it was: tense, but polite. Still the experience left me wondering:


Perhaps these chaps have been instructed to watch photographers— especially those who happen to document “graffiti”? The only logic at work here I can think of is the presumption that when people (such as myself) document this stuff it is going to somehow encourage the people responsible for it to continue their nefarious work (and, in so doing, lower everyone’s “quality of life”). I suppose this is possible. BUT


it’s been my experience that derelict buildings (of which north Brooklyn has many— such as the one above example which is located around the corner) do more than their fair share of lowering my quality of life.


Nice, eh?


The above can be found on the front door of this Kent Street deadiface. Call me subversive, but I don’t really see how this could possibly be construed as making this building an eyesore. It has achieved that very readily on its own. Rather smashingly, I will add. One piece of street art graffiti isn’t going to make any difference; if anything the above bit of mischief adds some sorely needed “value” to this turd. It certainly makes me smile, anyway.

Speaking of which, a building doesn’t have to be old and decrepit to elicit social commentary, oh, I mean graffiti.



CASE IN POINT: Northside Piers.

Miss Heather


3 Comments on Attention All Urban Photographers & Street Art Enthusiasts

  1. ecgroom on Fri, 24th Apr 2009 9:29 pm
  2. I think the cops were asking because they thought you (or someone you know) might have been the individual who had put the graffiti up and then you were documenting to “show off” the work.

    Just my humble opinion.

  3. missheather on Fri, 24th Apr 2009 9:35 pm
  4. You might be right.

    However, anyone who’d peg me for a renegade is sorely misguided. I am not criminally inclined— but if I was— I’d make myself a little less conspicuous looking. 😉

    Although— now that I think about it— I’m sort of flattered: I’m not even remotely that cool!

  5. bitchcakes on Sun, 26th Apr 2009 6:55 pm
  6. I’ve been riding past that building on Kent and can’t believe what’s happened to it over the last year. But considering it’s been vacant, I guess it’s not too surprising. As for the cops, I wonder if they questioned you because you were with the mister. I’ve never been harassed by cops and I take photos constantly – of graffiti, Grand Central, trains, bridges, buildings – everything. The only time I was harassed was by an MTA token booth clerk who looked like a miserable woman who just wanted to fuck with me.

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