Leave it to the graffiti artists on the street to combine high art with low. Recently, someone wittily referenced one of the most well-known urban sculptures around, Robert Indiana's Love sculpture. The sculptures are scattered around the world, and one exists in the flesh on the corner of 6th Avenue and 55th Street.
When I was looking for an apartment a couple years ago, I failed to edit my photos. I sent my parents a street view showing a sliver of old graffiti.
Of course, I heard about it. My dad called me from California, asking how run down the neighborhood was. I knew what he was referring to.
'It's just graffiti,' I'd said. 'There's graffiti everywhere. Even in Soho.'
Our difference in opinion shows the difference between East Coast and West Coast mentalities. In LA, manicured and tidy is good. Everything that can sport a new coat of paint does. In New York, manicured is tidy is good, too. But graffiti and the signs of age are not terrible.
Well, that's just the beginning. There are more differences between New York and LA. I'll have to write about them another time.
Top photo by myself of graffiti in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Lower photo of an Indiana 'Love' Sculpture.