-Above The Rim (1994)
Growing up here, if you didn't have a crew, with a crew name, and a tag name with a sharpie marker to sharpie mark your territory all across the Upper West Side of Manhattan and Harlem, you just were so NOT cool (this is not to say that you were definitely cool if you had these things, evidently in the case of ME, but you definitely were not cool if you didn't).
My crew was the 440 crew (to my knowledge that name has no significant meaning what-so-ever), more commonly known at IS 44's Computer School as The Destruction Crew, or the Destructs (...we should have had hard hats, I know...the worst) and my tag was SCOPE 113. Later, it became T-Swift, but that had to do with a brief but memorable love affair with turntables and a desire to put the letters DJ in front of a stupid name that I'd created for myself. Tagging was fun, though. Super-fun. I was breaking the rules in public school bathrooms, NYC public trains, public buildings and bus stops, and private businesses. Super-duper fun, right? On the talent and art meter, though, I probably ranked about a 0.5 out of a billion, but that's exactly what brings me back to the point of my rise from the Blog dead.
My department at work was recently relocated to a new building that our company built in a really dope and up-and-coming neighborhood one stop out of Manhattan called Long Island City in Queens. There's a bunch of nice cafes and lounges, similar to a young Williamsburg, BK, here, and a truly awesome promenade and pier with a park that screams BYOBBB (Beer, B*tches, and Booch lol), but that's for another post. Anyway, I decided to walk and explore the hood in which I earn a living and I was dumbfounded and amazingly surprised when I found the following. Apparently, and this is probably very popular to those other than people named Fitzgerald Waweru, the city designated this group of abandoned warehouse space to be free reign to those who love and practice the art of graffiti. I had to bust out the Blackberry cam and get my tourist on to document the discovery. A lot of people, including myself, have caught a glimpse of this right before or after surfacing on the 7 train from or going to Manhattan (well, if you do that sort of thing...the train...and QUEENS, lol).
So, below are a few reasons, once again (this is becoming the theme of this page), why I love New York and that I grew up here. Enjoy! These aren't by bombers like me...these are by real (graffiti) artists like them...