Hop on the 7 train in Times Square and a short 15 minutes later you will find yourself in Long Island City, Queens.
For those familiar with the 7 train (yes, the same one that takes you to Citi Field and Flushing) once you come out from under the east river and look out the left side window you will see a large yellow warehouse covered in graffiti and street art. This is 5 Pointz and well worth an afternoon visit.
This unique building is covered in spray painted pieces of art. Make no mistake, not anyway can roll up with spray paint and leave one’s mark on the world. These are curated pieces from a talented group of local and international artists. The level of detail, creativity and symbolism is incredible. If you are interested, there is a private guided tour which I booked through a company called Side Tour that will provide additional information on the history of the building, artwork and artists.
5 Pointz attracts more than just artists. When I went, a group of b-boys were warming up for a competition right in front of the building. Seeing break dancers spinning and contorting against the graffiti backdrop made for a very new york moment. On the street in front of the building, guys on road bikes were practicing tricks and trying to one up each other. And just to cap off the experience, there were a few hot rods parked out-front as well.
I was with a group of friends and when we were ready to leave, someone suggested hopping on the bus over to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I hadn’t even considered this option but we got on and 15 minutes later were on Bedford Ave. It dawned on me that within a few hours I had been in three different boroughs with three very different neighborhoods. I started with the bustle of Times Square, stopped off in Queens for an art walk and ended up in Williamsburg at the Brooklyn Brewery. If you go on this adventure, the last stop in Brooklyn is up to you. However, I would recommend the brewery. Low key, large wooden benches, great mix of people and $5 dollar beers that were made in the same space you are hanging out. What can be better?
Enjoy the trip and let us know what you think.