Sidewalk Art


Enough with the sidewalk art!

H. and I had just come from the New Museum where we saw George Condo’s Mental States and met the great man.

On the way into the park, we stepped on De La Vega’s sidewalk art.

A man with a feather in his cap sat near the first chalk drawing, around 97th and Central Park East. H. wondered if that was the artist, Jamie De La Vega. But not all artists hang near their art. Like all bloggers do not hang near their blog.

One message on the sidewalk did not have the silly helicopter or fish image — simply words across the pavement with a message, “It will continue to get better.” That made me happy.

Chalk artists have to know the forecast.

Minutes after we arrived at H’s Little League game, a dark cloud hovered, opened up, and sent me running to the field house.

My first thought was I should not have spent that $25 to get my hair blown out. And my second thought was all that sidewalk art  probably did not survive the downpour.

Art is ephemeral. Like the bubbles in George Condo’s paintings.

Life too is fleeting. This applies to My Rules Number 6 and 7.

6. Live every day as if it were your last

7. Embrace uncertainty

And yes, it will continue to get better. But there will be rain.

Big Flowers on Park Avenue

We were heading to the North Meadow in Central Park to watch a Little League game. The North Meadow is an oasis where white-petaled trees grow out of Ice Age rocks.
We saw these whimsical sculptures in the middle of Park Avenue.
It was hard to get a good picture from the cab window. I said to the girls, "That's New York for you. Look around you. Something new and beautiful every day."

Become Your Dream Part III

Yup, I stepped in it, more sidewalk art by De La Vega.

On Saturday afternoon, the girls and I were heading into Central Park around 96th Street with our picnic to watch H. play Little League in the North Meadow, 23 acres of fields (thanks Wikipedia). And I saw the chalk drawing beneath my feet.

“Move, girls, I want to take a picture,” I said.

“Of what? There’s nothing,” C. said, shrugging, looking around.

“Look down. See? A little guy dragging a vase.” No, that may be wrong. That might not be the image. Maybe the little guy wasn’t pulling the vase, but the vase was pushing the little guy. As if to say — art propels you, not drags you.

The other two times along with the little helicopter guy, De La Vega had written three words: Become Your Dream. And that was an apt message for me — because the first time, around New Year’s Day, I had been wondering, “What are my three words for the New Year?” And there they were, resting on a pile of trash. Become. Your. Dream. Three excellent words to guide me in 2011.

And then almost exactly two months later, I saw his sidewalk art when I was coming from picking up my number for the 5K Coogan’s fun run at the New York Road Runners office. I took the words — Become your dream — as a sign. I should set goals for myself, like running a 5K, and then achieve them.

When I saw the words on Saturday, it was almost exactly two months after seeeing them on the night I picked up my race number.

I was again committed to a goal. The next day I was going to ride in the 5 boro bike tour. I was going to pedal 50 miles, go over 5 bridges and visit every borough in one morning. And yes, I did it.

The girls and I only stopped for a minute to notice the sidewalk art and for me to snap this picture with my phone. We walked on to meet our friends in Central Park and to watch our team, the Giants, play baseball. They lost, but not by much. There’s still time left in this season for the Giants to become their dream.