You can find a lot of street art on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and more is going up all the time. Much of that street art is painted on the side of buildings, but there is also a public park that hosts street artists. It is known as the First Street Green Cultural Park, but is also sometimes called the First Street Garden.
I’ve chosen some of my favorite pieces that are on exhibit at the park right now, but keep in mind that the street art here is considered temporary. Periodically, artists come in and paint new murals over the old ones, so you may not find all of these murals there if you don’t visit for a while. You are likely to discover new intriguing work though, which is an added bonus. Here are my choices, illustrating the wide range of artistic styles. Enjoy! (I took these photos just before the plants started getting really green this Spring – makes it look a bit like a desert landscape, unfortunately, but at least it was easier to see the murals that way! It’s much greener now.)
This first colorful mural is a collaboration by Brazilian and American artists Opni, Panmela Castro, and Maidu.
Here’s a close-up view of the face from the previous mural.
There is also a fun mural by Ramiro Davaro-Comas (@ramirostudios).
Here’s a close-up view of a few of his characters – I love how whimsical his work is.
There is this piece by Huetek, a graphic designer, artist, and musician. I really like the dove hidden in the lettering in this mural.
There’s this geometric mural by Allysa Steiger.
Artist Key Detail painted this brightly colored and slightly ominous looking mural.
And street artist Topaz painted this mural of the iconic Katz’s Delicatessen. (The traditional Jewish deli is just a few blocks away from the park, at 205 E. Houston Street.)
There are two really interesting murals by Hektad, both incorporating mixed media. First, this one includes two of Hektad’s signatures, the stenciled heart and the little graffiti character.
This second one is a collaboration between Hektad, Pictoform, and possibly another artist. I love the astronaut!
Even the chain link fencing became a canvas for mixed-media installations by unnamed artists. If you look closely, this one spells out “Love.”
And this one is also fun.
Finally, I wanted to include this piece, titled “Signpost,” by artist Stuart Ringholt. In the background, several other murals are visible.
How do you get here? First Street Green Cultural Park is located on the north side of E. Houston Street (pronounced How-stun, not Hoo-stun – it’s one way to tell locals from the tourists!), between 1st Avenue and 2nd Avenue. The closest subway station is the 2nd Avenue Station, located just across the street from the park, and accessible on the F train.