I lived in Brooklyn for eight years, and never sought you out. Actually no, that's not quite true. There was that one coffee date with that musician. I hightailed it out of there after that, never to return. But in my defense, I also did get rocks thrown at me by a group of teen boys, as I stepped out of the subway station. Kids can be so mean. Frankly, I've been holding a grudge ever since.
But after this past weekend, all is forgiven, and you have the Bushwick Collective to thank for that. I spent the last week in New York City for equal parts work and play, and a friend talked me into accompanying her to your nabe to check out the Bushwick Collective's growing installation of street art. It helped that I was promised as much candied bacon as I could inhale in one sitting (turns out that's three portions). Thank you The Bodega. I will be back.
But Bushwick, let's talk about you. We started at Wyckoff and Myrtle, and slowly made our way towards Nicholas, and Troutman, and Jefferson, discovering your nooks and crannies, and making friends along the way. Special shout out to Oscar, who invited us to join his 7th birthday celebration as we walked by. Note to self: A bouncy house filled with kids, bounces aggressively. Accidentally kicking a little kid in the mouth will cause him to cry and hate you. Anyway, we walked. A lot. By the time we arrived at the edge of the collection, we were exhausted. And then suddenly we weren't.
Let's talk about the art. The New York Times does a much more eloquent job than I ever could of describing how this fantastic phenomenon came to be, so ... what they said. And in addition to that, my two cents: So amazing. So inspiring. So stunning. So unexpected. I've always wished that I could paint or draw, or at the very least just stay inside the lines, but the best that I've ever been able to achieve is a crooked sunflower and a happy raindrop. The caliber of art that I saw that day rivaled any that I've seen hanging in hoity toity museums, and more importantly it did what art is supposed to do - evoke emotion. There were the jagged edges and the smooth lines, the whimsy, the serious and the scary, the representational and abstract, the cartoony and the angsty. Everything from rainbows and unicorns (ok, those were not really there) to robots and roosters (those definitely were!). I have never before experienced such a range of emotions within a three block radius. It was an awakening. I left happy and inspired. It was a good day.
So Bushwick, not that you need any validation from me, but if one is going to eat crow it must be done correctly. So here goes: You are beautiful, eclectic, edgy, cool, artistic, and superfragilisticexpialidocious. I like you Bushwick, I like you a lot. And I couldn't have been more wrong about you. Mea culpa.