Nowruz Mubarak! Happy Persian New Year to all the New York neighbors who celebrate it. Also, Happy Spring! Did you think it would never arrive? Already the birds are chirping in the trees, and the crocus is popping up from beneath the garbage and dog crap. That guy who lives downstairs named Manny and his brother are washing their car on the curb while blasting a mix from Marley Marl & Red Alert at top volume for the block to enjoy. All the while, there is a colorful parade of young bucks and shorties who are strutting around the neighborhood with big eyes and a burning flame of hope in their hearts.
Another reason Brooklyn is feeling hopeful is the announcement Friday by Chuck Schumer saying that New York is to get 1.6 million COVID shots every week thanks to a ‘vaccine supercharge.’ One year after the sounds of ambulances filled the air and refrigerator trucks became mobile morgues on Brooklyn streets, people are eagerly running to pharmacies and Yankee Stadium and Citi Field to get the shot.
New Yorkers are also taking to the streets to protest Anti-Asian discrimination and violence locally and nationally. Many point to Trump’s use of the term “Chinese Virus” repeatedly in the last year as a direct causal relationship to increased acts of prejudice. But once again, New Yorkers know how to re-enforce the message: “United we stand, divided we fall.” As a New Yorker and as a person, it makes you feel proud.
Finally, street art is popping off in all kinds of stylistic and thematic directions this week – from the secular American saint, Dolly Parton, posed as a vaccine nurse by SacSix, to Sticker Maul’s Priority Mail collages, to Winston Tseng’s subtle and damning phone booth campaign of Walmart and McDonald’s workers who represent our formerly middle-class neighbors who are paid so little that they actually qualify for food stamps.
So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring: Almost Over Keep Smiling, City Kitty, D7606, Damien Mitchell, Ethan Minsker, Invader, LET, Matt Siren, Mort Art, NET, Rambo, Raw Raffle, Royce Bannon, SacSix, Sara Lynne Leo, Sticker Maul, Tram, Voxx Romana, and Winston Tseng.