Bleecker / Lafayette Street Neighborhood and Connection

bleecker: lafayette street NEIGHBORHOOD-1dsde80

My neighborhood was Bleecker / Lafayette Street which is at the border of the NoHo area. The NoHo area is bounded by Broadway to the West, and Bowery from the East, and from East 9th Street in the North to East Houston Street in the South. The NoHo area is a primarily residential upper-class neighborhood although there are still a lot of popular stores such as Adidas, Crate and Barrel, Hollister, etc. In 1748, Jacob Sperry created the city’s first botanical garden at the intersection of Lafayette Street and Astor Place. 56 years later, Sperry sold his gardens to a guy named John Jacob Astor, who leased his property to a Frenchman named Delacroix who later transformed the area into Vauxhall Garden, somewhere New Yorkers could go to eat, drink, socialize, and go for fireworks and theatrical events. By 1825, the area became an enclave to well-to-do families, mostly because of the rapid development on Bond, Bleecker, and Great Jones Streets. Eventually, the area was declared as a NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Landmark.In 2008, the NoHo District was expanded. Most of the buildings in the extension were built between the 1860s and the early 1900s, when the area had become one of the city’s major commercial and manufacturing districts. Today, more and more buildings are popping up as the 19th century industrial buildings are being transformed into luxury residences. A lot of people are fighting to keep the historic buildings as intact as possible.

 

Connection:

As a reviewer, the most important aspect of Leo Villareal’s artwork would be the representation of movement. In New York, movement is everywhere. Especially in the Bleecker/ Lafayette Street area, commuter’s are constantly using it as a passageway rather than a space to shop and eat like SoHo. Also in a more literal sense, Leo creates his artwork into a honeycomb shape which represents bees in their habitats. As the artwork is located in a busy subway station, commuters are constantly trying to get to work and their jobs. The commuters represent the worker bees moving throughout the subway station.

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