<< woman’s face by Pamela Barsky

I’m forever saying how small Manhattan is (it wouldn’t take you more than 40 minutes to walk across), yet there are some places that seem so distant to me because my life never takes me there. Chelsea is one such place.

So when the glorious Brooklyn Brainery posted about a street art tour there, I jumped at the chance to get to know it a little better.

The tour was actually led by Saddleshoe Tours, a group ran by street art aficionado Lia – whose pink-tied shoes brought even more color to my photographs.street1

<< Paul Richard

She led us through the streets of the Meatpacking District and Chelsea as we oohed and ahhed at art we’d probably unknowingly walk past on any other day.

The tour opened my eyes to what ‘street art’ could be. From stickers smacked across poles, wheatpaste posters on brick walls, mosaics, items bolted to posts and even stickmen squished into crosswalks – the variety of media was huge. And while a handful were commissioned, most were illegal.street5 street4

<< Nick Walker (girl), Cost (poster, top), Vandal Expressionism (poster, bottom) // ENX and Cost >>street3 street9

<< Invader, made from mosaics // Bunny M (over Alec Monopoly) >>street6street8

<< Os Gemeos + Futurastreet12

<< Stikman, found in crosswalks // Phil >>street11

Towards the end of the two-hour tour, we nipped up to the High Line to see decades-old pieces – such as faded text across apartment blocks – and newer works, such as a vivid pink billboard:

street10street15 street14

<< Ed Ruscha, which has just gone up // Eduardo Kobra >>


I like how, on any given day, you wouldn’t be able to say whether your favorite art work would be up, or if it would have been destroyed or improved by another artist. I love this idea of art being tied to a time and place and always in progress.

Not only is this tour a great way to see Chelsea, but Lia is incredibly personable and knowledgeable – my pictures don’t cover the half of what she showed us. And even if you don’t think graffiti is your ‘thing’, I can assure you that you’ll walk away with a new appreciation for the scribbles on the street.

You can check out her website here. She also has a pretty cool Instagram here.

Tried it. It didn't work. #teleporthere