I walked down to Chinatown this morning for the purposes a prizing a child-sized Hello Kitty! apron like the one I'd bought for my daughter about six months ago. We're going to one of her little classmates' birthdays later today and couldn't think of a better gift, so off I was dispatched to the southern reaches of Elizabeth Street to procure the item. I certainly didn't mind the walk, being that it's a sparkling Autumn day. En route, I was stopped dead in my tracks by a building that I no longer recognized.
11 Spring Street, for years, was a mysterious building on the corner of Elizabeth that acted as an open canvas for local street art. Every time I strolled by it, there was something new to look at, and watching the old art gradually deteriorate on its facade leant the entire building a captivating identity. It was an ever-shifting work in progress. Of course, that all came to a close at the end of 2006, when one real estate developer or another sold the building for the purposes of turning it into yet another pricey condo. Scaffolding went up immediately after a colorfully riotous last gasp of art both inside the massive building and outside of it. For the last year and half, it was sheathed in a boring shell of construction.
Today, I was almost bowled over at how it looks now. A striking dichotomy to its former self to be sure.
Here it is today.
Here's how it looked about fifteen years ago.