Liam and I spied a graffiti artist on our way home from the park today. He had a bag full of spray paint and a huge swath of wall on a pedestrian bridge as his canvas. He didn’t seem particularly nervous about being caught — pretty brazen painting in broad daylight — though I still thought better of whipping out my phone to take a photo. We watched for awhile as his vision took shape — a seemingly random smattering of colorful boxes. He chatted on the phone. He smoked. He didn’t notice us at all.
Graffiti is one of the first things you’ll see as you enter this city. It is EVERYWHERE. I just kind of figured, like with the traffic laws, the authorities adopted a laissez-faire style of policing, but it seems there is some historical significance to the graffiti here. This New York Times article shed some light on the subject.
It’s interesting to see this from my seven-year-old’s perspective. He doesn’t see defacement of public property. He just sees cool artwork. The green line train is his favorite partly because it is covered in street art. And I’m starting to see the beauty in it, as well. Most of the graffiti I’ve seen is your run-of-the-mill bubble written words scrawled in neon colors. But some of them are quite beautiful. In fact, there are some pretty famous ones around the city (see 15 of them here), but I haven’t ever come across these.
Now that the weather is getting cooler, I’m spending more evenings with the windows open. We hear traffic, church bells, random loud conversations in Greek…and cats. Cats screeching, cats fighting, cats in heat. The other day Liam called me over to our back window. He and his sister were enthralled by a mother and her kitten just hanging around in our backyard. (Back garden, I should say.) Great. Another cat to add to the cacophony.