I’m completely tripping out over my Banksy adventure in the Bronx last night…

I am so tired and still wired, and I’m about to dash out… but I MUST document the latest Banksy adventure… So I’m free writing with my usual ellipses to flush this out…

I had no intention of venturing into the South Bronx last night, but my tentative plans fell through, so I chose to see Banksy, not even knowing if it was still there… I knew what stop  to get off, according to the location that someone posted on Instagram, (if it was reliable…) As I headed further uptown, panic creeped in… A disheveled woman was hovering over me and talking to herself… everyone looked “strange”… (Was I uneasy traipsing about Europe? Nope! So then what the…?) While scoping out the train, I noticed two white guys who looked a bit “hipsterish”… Indeed, I was totally stereotyping, but determined that they were going to see Banksy and I would follow them. As we neared the stop, I jumped up to confirm my assumptions… Luckily they were going and did not get offended… The more the merrier…

So we find it a few blocks away, grateful that Banksy was smart enough to tag near train stations… (At least I assume that he planned it that way, but maybe not…) It is already dark and it is a bit difficult to capture, and I didn’t realize that I had the wrong settings… but this was so much more than taking the best photo…

Banksy Ghetto 4 Life-1

Banksy Ghetto 4 Life 10/21/13

Banksy Ghetto 4 Life 2-1

Banksy Ghetto 4 Life 10/21/13

The wall was “guarded” by two men (who never heard of Banksy) getting paid by the owner of the building to stay all night, because he wanted to preserve it… Lots of people in the area have never heard of this graffiti artist… But I think now kids will see it and take another look at their lives, perhaps dreaming bigger… who knows?

Then I hear a conversation… I’m from this area and this is not the ghetto to me… I am curious and move in closer… Yeah, I resent people only coming here just for Banksy

I chimed in, Honestly, I’m from Brooklyn, born and raised, and I only come here for Yankee games…and now a bit ashamed to admit that… so we are all engaged in DIALOGUE now… (the two guys who escorted me, plus the two from the neighborhood) I was getting high off this experience… sharing opinions, being bold, listening to what the others had to say, seeing other points of view… IT WAS AMAZING!! I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue to say it, THIS IS WHY I LOVE NYC!!!!

One of the Puerto Rican guys, who just got out of jail a few months ago for selling drugs, is trying a different route now… jobless, but not discouraged… He was born in raised in that area and travels to all the other boroughs… He shared an experience (from about 20 years ago) when he wasn’t “allowed” in one party because he was Latino, but his girlfriend said, Let’s go to my other friend’s party nearby… It was a nice building on 72nd street and Central Park West… the mother was in her bedroom behind some Japanese looking doors… and the house had a bunch of crazy art and tons of cereal boxes… Yeah, this was the Dakota, the mother was Yoko Ono, that friend of his girlfriend was Sean Lennon, and the artwork, no doubt, was Andy Warhol… and as the three of us were drooling, he said, Yeah, it was aiight… This was just another experience in his life… showing us that he goes into unfamiliar territory… more to the story, of course, but I just knew he was telling the truth…

So the other Puerto Rican guy said, I handed out flyers to an art exhibit here in the area, but was rebuffed with the response, Oh I’m only here for Banksy, I’ll never come to the Bronx again… Then I thought of some of the people I know, born, raised, and still live in Manhattan, who have no plans to ever go to Brooklyn…

Paraphrasing what the Brooklyn theater fellow said.. love it or hate it, but have an opinion… you can’t just walk by it and think nothing… and I will go back to any neighborhood with good food…

We all talked for a long time about the implications of this mural…

Going back on the same train line, I had FRESH EYES… people didn’t look any different from anyone in my nabe… In fact, we are all here just living our lives, as different as we all are, we are all the same…

As the train got more crowded… we made room for a man and his construction tools. I didn’t realize my hand was near his face, so absorbed in the conversation… as I moved it he said, Oh I noticed your ring and was about to ask how did he propose? (could have been a she, but anyway…) Was it a surprise?… I ask because I wonder how I’m going to ask my girlfriend... so talked about it a little, but the train was too crowded… my new friends got off and we vowed to keep in touch. (already sent each other messages…)

I went back to talk to the construction guy, who is actually a counselor who just moved to Brooklyn to pursue his dreams of opening his own practice: Mindful and Somatic Approches to Healing and Wholeness… Explore Being Human

I am now cutting this short because this story is getting too long, but essentially he reiterated the point of my blog… we box ourselves in to feel loved and accepted, but the misery comes into play when we aren’t being authentic… He saidmy dream is that everyone will get in touch with why they are here and follow their bliss… 

Do you have a purpose?-1

I connected with five “strangers” who get me more than the people who have known me my whole life! COOL!

These excursions are no longer about Banksy… this pushes me to get up off my ass and explore new areas… I am doing this ALONE, sometimes at night… the old me would have to go with someone, because of the unknown… but tonight I got intimate with my prejudices and fears… my trepidation to venture into the South Bronx stemmed from the media that only shows the bad… I absorb everyone’s phobias… This is why I don’t watch the news or consult with others anymore, because I allow them to put doubt in my mind and then remain frozen…

As cowardice sets in, as it will do, I’m going to BREATHE, and do it anyway…

Living Authentically.

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About Tacey

I'm a free-spirit... Reiki is my way of life... but I also love the 80's, music, art, travel, fashion, tarot, astrology, numerology, yoga, home stuff... and encouraging others. Blogging, photography, and baking bread are my creative outlets... Life isn't always easy for me... but I'm here...
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4 Responses to I’m completely tripping out over my Banksy adventure in the Bronx last night…

  1. Aminta says:

    Tace, I love this, you captured so much from your conversations and the way these strangers touched you. really love this side of you.

  2. Osmani says:

    Great post! I have been keeping an eye on Banksy’s work in NYC and I live 2 blocks from this one. I could see the fear in some people’s faces as they made their way up 3rd Avenue, I approached a group got to talking, after a couple of minutes everyone seemed relaxed. I spent a long time hanging out and chatting it up with people from all over as well as translating and explaining to some neighborhood folks who didn’t understand, in their words “why so many white people are staring at a wall in this area” lol I won’t lie it really stings that people will think of us Bronxites as a bunch of savages but what can you do. Overall it was a very cool experience, I don’t think that I have ever felt that much buzz in the neighborhood.

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