Boijeot + Renauld Update : Rain, Wind, & Inquisitive Upper West Side


The French duo Boijeot & Renauld have logged one full week and three days of crossing Manhattan via Broadway. As you know they are embarking on an ambitious project where they intend to cross Manhattan with their living room, breakfast room and bedroom in tow. They started in Harlem on 125th Street and the last time we caught up with them they were moving down the Upper West Side and running into the inquisition of friendly and sometimes oddly parochial locals.

The first few days they enjoyed typical NYC Autumn weather with crisp air and sunny days. Then things turned for the worse with the prickly hurricane season wrecking havoc somewhere offshore in The Atlantic bringing heavy winds and downpours.


Boijeot . Renauld (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“One night we woke up and right before our eyes we experienced a cascade of water falling down from our plastic tarp. The water was taking the edges of the mattress and everything was so soaked that we used our photographer friend as a pillow, ” says Laurent Beijot.

Sebastien, Laurent and photographer Clement are keeping their spirits high despite the cold, the rain and the wind. New Yorkers are their fuel, their source of warmth and entertainment. They recently have been regaled with an impromptu recital on the street composed of two opera singers and one young violinist. As the singers and the musician performed on the street for the artists and their street guests a rather large crowd of spectators formed around their encampment for a quintessential New York Minute.


Boijeot . Renauld (photo © Jaime Rojo)

So far the love affair between the artists and the Upper West Side denizens continue with multiple offering of generosity: Food, well wishes, bathrooms and showers and many gestures of gratitude. “This is the first crossing ever where we have been told by so many passersby ‘Thank you for doing this’. It hasn’t just happened once or twice but all the time and we are floored with how nice New Yorkers are. When we did this in Berlin and in Paris almost no one stopped to offer any support let alone say thank you to us,” says Sebastian.


Boijeot . Renauld (photo © Jaime Rojo)

There were a couple of occasions when anxious merchants told them to move away from their storefronts and the police were called. Upon further inspection the police deemed the artists free of culpability or guilt of trespassing or blocking traffic and allowed them stay.

When we were visiting with them we witnessed several pedestrians stopping by to inquire about their presence on the street with so much furniture. The questions ranged from “Are you selling these furniture?” to “I give up! Can you tell me what’s going on here?” Unfazed, the artists responded to each questions with candor, humor and enthusiasm. The inquisitors usually seemed satisfied with their answers and wished them good luck.


Boijeot . Renauld (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Boijeot . Renauld (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Boijeot . Renauld (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Boijeot . Renauld (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Boijeot . Renauld (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Boijeot & Renauld: Crossing Manhattan With Your Living Room on the Sidewalk