Saturday, February 14, 2009

Graffiti watch

Earlier this week, CityRag had an appreciation of some NYC graffiti...with links to their older posts on graffiti around the city, such as in the East Village and on the Bowery...and LES.

1 comment:

Jason Solarek said...

Idolizing graffiti is akin to enjoying watching people get beat up. The victim is the building and the morale of the community, and sometimes even the destruction of something priceless like the murals in the Central Park. Please see article below. Can you please do a post about stopping graffiti in the east village? Surely, graffiti done with permission is 'cool'. However, 99% is not.

from the NY Post:


February 16, 2009 --
Manhattan prosecutors are seeking felony charges against the four young alleged graffiti vandals arrested in the recent spray-paint attack on Central Park's Bethesda Terrace, The Post has learned - even though two of the suspects are only 16.

"She's terrified, and her family is hysterical," said Kevin Canfield, lawyer for one of the four, Victoria Beniaminova. "She's 16, she did something stupid. It's a first offense, and now she's facing the prospect of prison. For graffiti."

Canfield said he spoke to prosecutors Friday, "begging" them to keep the case classified as a misdemeanor - but they wouldn't budge.

"They're dead-set on convening a grand jury and indicting her and all the others," he said.

The four defendants - ages 20, 18 and the two who are 16 - were caught red-handed at the scene by watchful cops.

And Central Park officials insist the damage to the beautiful, landmarked terrace walls warrants felony charges.

The graffiti is scrawled across the entire 150-year-old wall "as if they were just walking along, spraying as they walked," noted Doug Blonsky, president of the Central Park Conservancy.

The damage - which includes the tags "3D," "28," "Braze," and "Skky," along with an upside-down smiley face - can't merely be painted over or power-washed off, like most graffiti.

The terrace features mosaics of colored sandstone, a material that's too fragile to withstand that kind of blast, Blonsky said.

The sandstone is also very porous, he said, meaning it has now absorbed the purple, red and black paint like a sponge.

The only remedy is the application of a special chemical poultice that slowly draws out the spray paint, Blonsky said. For the poultice to work, the temperature of the stone must be raised to about 50 degrees, he said.

The process - which is estimated to cost between $50,000 and $60,000 - requires that carefully monitored heaters be installed on scaffolds around the affected areas, with the heat trapped inside tenting made of fire-resistant carpeting.

If convicted of the charge being sought by prosecutors, felony criminal mischief, Beniaminova and her co-defendants - Sabrina Santiago, 16, Aisha Calo, 18, and David Gonzales Jr., 20 - face anywhere from probation up to seven years prison.

"These kids had no idea of the value," said Canfield. "To them, it was just a wall. It was just stupid kids doing stupid things, and now they're looking to ruin their lives."