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urban anthropology

Snow Day

Sandy Super Storm

FDR Drive Before & After Hurricane Sandy – Upper East Side, New York City

Carl Schurz Park

Autumn at Carl Schurz Park – Upper East Side, New York City

Smith’s Bar

Smith’s Bar – 42nd Street Theatre District, New York City

John Jay Park

Urban Anthropology – Tenderloin

The Tenderloin, New York City

Neighborhood Boundaries – West 23rd to West 42nd Streets & 5th to 7th Avenues

Woytuk’s Broadway Bronze – Public Art Installation

Peter Woytuk’s Bronze Ravens – 2011 Broadway Mall Public Art Installation – 79th Street, New York City


Water Tower

Rooftop water towers on New York City apartment buildings

19th century, New York City required that all buildings higher than six stories be equipped with a rooftop water tower. This was necessary because if you had enough water pressure to reach the upper floors, you’d be bursting pipes down at the basement. Only two companies in New York build water towers, Isaac’s and Rosenwack, both of which are family businesses in operation since the 19th century.


Limelight Marketplace & Hugh O’Neill’s Dry Goods Store

The Limelight in New York City, which was owned by Peter Gatien, opened in November 1983. It was housed in a former Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion, a Gothic Revival brownstone building which was built in 1844-1845, as designed by architect Richard Upjohn. In the early 1970s, when the parish merged with two others, the church was deconsecrated and sold to Odyssey House, a drug rehabilitation program. Amidst financial hardship, Odyssey House sold it to Gatien in 1982.

Located on Avenue of the Americas, at West 20th Street, the New York Limelight originally started as a disco and rock club. In the 1990s, it became a prominent place to hear techno, goth, and industrial music, and to obtain recreational drugs. It earned the media’s attention in 1996, when Club Kid and party promoter Michael Alig was arrested and later convicted for the killing and dismemberment of Angel Melendez, a drug dealer at the club.

The 2003 film Party Monster, starring Macaulay Culkin and Seth Green, was based on this event. The Limelight was closed by the police, and subsequently reopened several times during the 1990s. In September 2003, it reopened under the name “Avalon”; however, it closed its doors for good in 2007.

Since May, 2010, the building has been in use as the Limelight Marketplace.

Across the street from the LimeLight, at 655 Sixth Avenue, is the 5-story O’Neill Building. Originally Hugh O’Neill’s Dry Goods Store, the city’s first major department store, designed by Mortimer C. Merritt and built in two stages, 1887 and 1890, with an addition in 1895 it was also the first full-block front building. The corner domes of this cast-iron building were recently restored (c.2000). On Christmas Day 2012 the building suffered a partial collapse of its facade and was evacuated.


The Limelight. (2012, November 28). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 05:30, December 11, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Limelight&oldid=525287027

City Dwellers

Mark Hadjipateras City Dwellers (for Costas and Maro), 2002 – Glass mosaic on platform walls

28th Street Subway Station – New York City

The Toy Center and the Flatiron Building are located near the subway station at 28th Street and Broadway, as are the flower, fur, and garment districts. Each of these areas inspired artist Mark Hadjipateras, whose glass mosaics are rendered in a playful cartoon-like style. City Dwellers animates the walls of the station with a series of robot-like creatures. The figures are joyous and fanciful, but closer examination reveals universal symbols and forms that reflect the neighborhood and its history – technology, toys, and commerce. These inventions invite riders to guess at their meanings; while they may seem familiar, the artist holds the key. In his proposal, Hadjipateras cited some of his plentiful sources: plants and flowers, patterns based on national flags, Greek ethnic garb, a family, New York taxis, radio broadcast waves, etc. Filtered through the artist’s sensibility, the result is a unique and compelling station environment.

For More Information: MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design


79th Street MTA Subway Station – Upper West Side, New York City


New Years Day  – Macy’s Herald Square, 34th Street, New York City


New Year’s Day NYPD Police Barricades – New York City


Christmas in New York

Tower Series No. 5


Follies – Marquis Theatre, New York City

Urban Anthropology – Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village, New York City

Neighborhood Boundaries – Houston to West 14th Street & Broadway to the Hudson River

Times Square

Times Square

Times Square

Times Square

Times Square

Times Square

Times Square

Jaume Plensa’s Echo – Public Art Installation

Jaume Plensa’s 2011 Public Art Installation – Madison Square Park, New York City

Echo – 44’ Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic Sculpture

Jaume Plensa's Echo


Jaume Plensa, Echo
May 5, 2011 to August 14, 2011
Madison Square Park, Manhattan


Jaume Plensa, born and based in Barcelona, is one of the world’s leading contemporary sculptors. Working in a wide variety of materials, Plensa has invigorated the practice of figurative sculpture with works that examine the intersection of the human form, language and communication and global citizenship. He was made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 1993, among many other honors.

His public art installations are particularly renowned, and include the legendary Crown Fountain in Chicago’s Millenium Park. Plensa’s 2011 commission for Madison Square Park will constitute his long-awaited New York City public art debut.

Echo, Plensa’s project for Madison Square Park, is a monument to everyday people in the form of a 44’ fiberglass-reinforced plastic sculpture of the head and neck of a young girl, the nine year-old daughter of a restaurant proprietor near Plensa’s home in Barcelona.

Plensa’s sculpture, made from white-pigmented fiberglass- reinforced plastic with a crushed marble gel coat, is sited on the central Oval Lawn of Madison Square Park. Its monumental size and vertical orientation reflect the architecture surrounding the park, while the visage of the sculptor’s subject exudes a welcoming tranquility perfectly suited to this cherished urban oasis.


This is a project by: Mad. Sq. Art.

For more information contact: NYC Parks

Tiles for America – Mulry Square, West Village, NYC

Mulry Square is a triangular parking lot at the southwest corner of Greenwich Avenue and Seventh Avenue South. The parking lot’s fencing supports Tiles for America, a spontaneous, hand-made 9/11 memorial.

Tiles for America began on September 12, 2001. In the aftermath of the tragedy, crowds gathered in large numbers in front of  (the now-closed) Saint Vincent’s Hospital, located at the corner of Seventh Avenue and 11th Street. This was the hospital that was prepared to receive the thousands of survivors that many were still hopeful  would soon arrive. Neighborhood potter, Lorrie Veasey, began to create what she hoped would be an inspiration to those recovering victims – survivors that never came. From raw clay she fashioned hundreds of small angels and American flags. On September 14th she and friends attached the angels and flags to the Mulry Square fence that faced the hospital. Attached with ribbon, and before two weeks had passed, most of them had been removed from the fence.

Soon more tiles, contributed by ceramic artists from around the world began to arrive in response to message board postings by Contemporary Ceramic Studios Association. What once covered a small section of fence has grown to encompass more than a full city block. Approximately 6000 tiles now hang on the Memorial. The property is owned by the Manhattan Transit Authority, which intends to build a ventilation plant there, permanently embedding the tiles in its walls.

Greenwich Village Murals – Public Art Installation

Lee Brozgol’s The Greenwich Village Murals, 1994 – Ceramic mosaic on platform walls

Christopher Street-Sheridan Square Subway Station – New York City

Depicting vignettes of community history, The Greenwich Village Murals consist of children’s composite drawings inspired and guided by an artist concerned with “identity” and its portrayal. Lee Brozgol first intended to devote each of the four panels to one famous person. “But the village is so rich in amazing characters who shaped America that picking only twelve was impossible,” he says. With students from Greenwich Village’s P.S. 41, he found space for some forty people arranged in four groupings: Founders, Providers, Bohemians, and Rebels – bending time to group them together. Deborah Lewis, a teacher at P.S. 41, helped Brozgol select nine fifth and sixth graders for the project. The resulting presentation recognizes the many individuals who gave the neighborhood its reputation as a cauldron of artistic and political activity.

For More Information: MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design

Walking Home-Less Often

Union Square & 14th Street, New York City

Anthropology & The Snap Shot Aesthetic

Documenting The New Urban Anthropology with a Snap Shot Aesthetic – New York City


Bob’s Army-Navy Store – Mojave, CA

Bob's Surplus StoreBob's Surplus StoreBob's Surplus Store

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