Twelve years ago when I first moved to New York and was looking for apartments, my then roommate and I went to see one Bushwick apartment. The apartment was bare bones, the building looked like it could have collapsed in the next week, and the owner was pretty much covered from neck to toes in tattoos. I didn’t really care about the tattoos, but my aunt insisted on coming to view the apartments with us, and she was absolutely terrified about everything. It didn’t help that the entire area was covered in graffiti and litter everywhere, not to mention all the people hanging out on the street and blaring their music like it was a Saturday… except it was a weekday. My roommate didn’t love the area or the apartment then, either, and so we passed on it. Just four years later, she ended up moving to Bushwick with her boyfriend, and the area had started changing. Today, most of that graffiti and litter has disappeared in favor of endless constantly changing street art, hipster cafes and bars, and delicious Asian restaurants that couldn’t afford the Manhattan rent.
We walked through the neighborhood and took videos and photos of all the street art. Unfortunately, everyone seems to want to make fun of Trump, so there were many iterations of his face and body everywhere. But there were also political messages, too, ranging from climate change, the upcoming election, #blacklivesmatter, and wearing a mask. Sadly, yes: it’s become political whether you wear a mask or not, just as I predicted back in the spring. This is our country. At least the art is good, though.