Saturday, November 23, 2019

Gone Without a Trace

This morning, I received an email from a reader, thanking me for posting the photograph of the graffiti on the building on South Third Street, which was until recently the location of Ör. He said graffiti is "in such need of recognition for what it is and does to Hudson."

He expressed the opinion that "graffiti is one of the most damaging crimes against our society/community because it stays for years at a time and repeatedly assaults our senses on an emotional level, very much like constant verbal harassment." He included the link to Combating Graffiti: Reclaiming the Public Spaces of New York, a booklet published sometime during the twelve years that Michael Bloomberg was mayor of New York City (2002-2013). The booklet recommends the following action, after reporting the occurrence of graffiti to the police: "The prompt removal of the graffiti is suggested to prevent the long term display of the markings, and discourage the purpose of the vandalism."

The recommendation inspired me to drive by the building on my way home from the farmers market this morning to discover that the graffiti was no longer there.

Gossips doesn't know when the graffiti was removed. The property is owned by Galvan Initiatives Foundation.


  1. Another Galvan building, behind the former Orphan Asylum, at the corner of 6th & State has had large, conspicuous graffiti on it for at least two years and Galvan has been well aware of it (I regularly make sure of that). Since Galvan is not trying to sell or rent this building, I guess the graffiti on it is not considered a problem for them or the larger community.

  2. Imagine if Galvin reported on every aspect of your life ... the calumny devoted to Galvin says more about his detractors than it says about Galvin.

  3. Hilarious how graffiti is one of the most damaging crimes against society. Seriously?

    Not people who text while driving? The gun epidemic that has killed so many of our children while they are supposed to be learning in school? Not the climate crisis? No, the big scourge of our time is graffiti. I mean, if it had been Banksy or Keith Haring, then we'd be welcoming it.

    So funny what gets everyone's knickers in a bunch. ;)

  4. Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say. Interesting comment from bb re the selective removal of graffiti by Galvin. Which, if so, also reflects the "broken windows theory" (a strategy for preventing vandalism and thus, supposedly reducing more major crimes) which both Mayors Bloomberg and Giuliani were/are proponents of, and which is often used as a technique for gentrification under the guise of "stopping crime". But "broken windows" (which, among other policing techniques enforces laws against graffiti) is also criticized for class and race bias in a war against the poor, that ultimately forces low-income (aka "undesirable") people out of an area. Don't worry bb, when the gentrification of State street kicks in, you'll see that graffiti on 6th and State wiped perfectly clean too.

    Meanwhile, for some people graffiti is seen as an asset. (Ask some Art Collectors with pieces worth 5, 6, 7 figures...) Some cities are embracing graffiti as the significant art form it is, to encourage more art-loving visitors. And whoever did the highly unskilled piece on Or, though in need of a lot more practice, may develop into a future, commissioned muralist, who knows.