Do you make the time to observe your surroundings? I mean really observe your surroundings. It’s easy to let the day slip away, a passing blur like in the passenger window. Constant distractions are literally at the tips of our fingers.
Today I got to see one of Banksy’s pieces today. I saw a few days ago that he made this in the UWS. It was a stone’s throw from my new apartment. As soon as I found out the location, I made my way there. I hopped up the stairs of the subway, eagerly anticipating what I’d see.
At the corner, I saw a guy with headphones. I tugged at his sleeve to tell him the news. Excitement tumbled out of my mouth like a really long hast tag:
He was happy to hear about it, and see it from afar. But he didn’t stop to see it.
I stood in front of it for a while. People stopped to look. It started with children, asking their mothers about it. They seemed the most observant. Then, the adults would get engaged, explaining the concept. A small crowd started to form. I started talking to a man and woman, taking photos for them in front of the piece. I went on and on about Banksy’s artist residency here in New York. When the man came back for his camera phone, he remarked:
“The painting is so simple. It doesn’t take a lot of skill. I think I could do it.”
I couldn’t help but think:
“If you can barely take the time to look, how can you take the time to create?”
I mentioned in my last post that I started a new job. Part of my training took me to Richmond. After work, I decided to roam around the city for a bit by myself. My only plan was to check out a few vintage stores, figuring that fashion would somehow lead me to an adventure. I hopped into the hotel shuttle bus and gave them the address to a local vintage retailer in Carytown.
I had no real desire to buy anything, but just wanted to walk around – absorb some of the local scenery during my short time in the city. Chatting with the driver, I looked out the window. We passed an old bus terminal that was absolutely irresistible to me. It was covered with hundreds of the most evocative, brightly hued art I’d seen. Set against the warm, sunny late afternoon the setting seemed dreamlike.
Cooing while trying to snap a few photos from the van, the driver sensed my enthusiasm. He didn’t really know what the site was, other than it was an old bus terminal. I asked him if we could take a quick detour and investigate the site.
Everywhere I looked was beautiful! The space has previously belonged to the Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC). Built in 1902, the structure housed trollies and buses that were not in use or needed repair. The site was abandoned back in 2009. Residents were unhappy with the crumbling buildings. They pushed for a creative use of the space, hoping to install stores and restaurants to boost the local economy.
The city’s response was to create a Street Art Festival, inviting artists from around the world to create large scale murals. Since the time frame was limited, it became a hotbed of creativity. Artists were working side-by-side, helping and inspiring one another.
Hamilton Glass, a Richmon-based artist, likened the festival is like a jam session for artists:
“We feed off each other, he said about five hours into his mural. It’s great painting next to someone who’s being creative.“
I could have spent all day here! There was no evidence of any businesses within the compound. But there was a young couple walking around taking photos. They took a photo of me, which shows you the scale of the work. It’s really massive and overwhelming!
Like a kid in a candy store, I ran down the empty streets eagerly taking in as much art as I could. Every mural was so interesting and unique. Some were even 3-dimentional. One of my favorites was a blue wall filled with metal birds.
After closer inspection, the birds are decorated with names and poems. If you’re in Richmond, I highly recommend stopping by to see it for yourself: 2501 W. Cary St.
To see the rest of my photos from the Old GRTC Bus Terminal, follow me on Instagram!
Menswear is something I usually consider outside of my expertise. While I definitely can spot a well-dressed man, I’m not really in the market for buying men’s clothing. However, my adventurous nature leads me to meeting interesting people who then show me new, cool places. A few months ago, I met Shael. He is the owner of Estetiks, the coolest menswear boutique I’ve ever seen.
As I walked inside, I was floored with excitement. I instantly loved the graffiti art that decorated the interior. Shael features local artists that rotate their work periodically. He also had work by one of my favorite graffiti artists, Shepard Fairey (below).
The merchandise was no disappointment. Neatly displayed and carefully edited pieces caught my attention after I tore myself away from the artwork. The clothes have some serious panache.
No boring t-shirts here! I loved the vibrant colors and tribal inspired tanks.
Estetiks also offers shoes and accessories. If you know someone that skateboards, you must bring them here to shop. I recently got a lesson in skateboarding, and know it’s all about having the right shoes. (I was wearing 5 inch platform wedges. Next time, I’ll have something more practical.)
All this amazing merchandise makes me wish I had someone to shop for! Ladies, if you are looking for a gift for your special guy I recommend the following:
- 10 Deep “Leopard Camo” Field Shorts: Leopard + Camo? Amazing! These shorts are fun and funky. Plus, they can be rolled up to expose the contrasting fabric inside. Also available online
- Stance “Sunchild” Club 200 Socks: Socks make a cool mini-gift because, honestly, who likes to buy socks for themselves? And generally, when you need them, you don’t buy the fancy ones. These awesome socks add a little flare to your guy’s outfit without being over the top. Also available online
Every now and then, I’ll find a site that wows me. Street Art News is definitely one of those sites. I discovered the site through their facebook page. The site brings you the best of street art from around the world.