Integrative Seminar 1: Visit to Williamsburg

Apart from just observing the visual appearance and street art, I’ve noticed the neighborhood being isolated from the city. I thought it was isolated because of the calm and less populated environment. Upon researching the area, I discovered that Williamsburg is a larger neighborhood in both population and geography.

Whilst exploring the neighborhood, it was unlikely to not see any street art because they were everywhere on the walls, cars, and ground. After being divided into groups, we walked down Metropolitan Avenue and saw plenty of shoes hanging from the overhead power lines. A discussion upon our group, it was hard to interpret the meaning of the hanging shoes. I took photographs of the power lines itself and another photo with the wall in the background. The combination of the street and the hanging shoes together made it overwhelming because it seemed like there were too many things happening at the same time. In my opinion, it was difficult to focus on multiple things at once. Looking at the other power lines around that area, the one we stood under had over twenty pairs of shoes. Despite that, we continued walking around and came across a gigantic wall with a colourful painting of a woman on 6th Street. The painting was located on a blank wall and it looked like it was painted in the parking lot. Along with that, it was surrounded by a black fence which made it look like it was vandalizing. But in the Williamsburg neighborhood, the term “vandalizing” should not be used commonly because it is evident that the street art in the community is meaning and pretentious. The artists that live in that neighborhood are talented. We saw posters and advertisements everywhere but they were all painted or done by artists. The very last location we stopped at was a rooftop of 9th Street. We were lucky to have the opportunity to visit the rooftop of the studio and take photographs of the view. Some of the street art made me question how the artist got up to the building and why they chose that area to paint. Overall, my perspective of site visit of the Williamsburg neighborhood made me rethink the idea of the “hipster neighborhood” and the gentrification in New York City. Of all of the streets we walked past, Bedford Avenue seemed to have the purest form of gentrification. The one thing I would change about this site visit is the boundaries because if we were permitted to have a broader choice of location, it would enable us to think and explore the area a little better. Comprehensively, I enjoyed this exploration and it has allowed me to curate my thoughts of the street art in Williamsburg.

 

Bedford Ave 

6th Street 

Metropolitan Ave

9th Street 

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