A work of street art on the famed Houston Street wall by artist John Matos in New York City.
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
“In the wake of the global growth of interest in art in the streets, one form of tourism that may soon be blowing up could be graffiti excursions, street art sightseeing, [and] mural journeying,” Brooklyn Street Art’s Jaime Rojo and Steven Harrington recently declared.
A man walks past a mural painted on the ‘5 Pointz’ building on Long Island City neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
(Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
If you are one of the many street art and graffiti enthusiasts who couldn’t imagine a vacation sweeter than galavanting around alleyways and empty buildings, searching for that great piece of urban art, we have the perfect map for you.
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite street art masterpieces in New York City — thanks in large part to BSA’s experts Rojo and Harrington, who walked us through some of their favorite locales to ogle wheatepastes and aerosol designs, from the Bronx to Coney Island.
People walk by a re-creation of an untitled mural painted by artist Keith Haring on the corner of Houston Street and Bowery in Manhattan May 2, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
The Last Feudal State, Sark.
Sark is about three miles long and one mile wide, with a population of 600.
Prior to the constitutional reforms of 2008, Sark was governed by the Chief Pleas – the feudal parliament – comprising of 40 unelected island landowners and headed by the “Seigneur”.
Since 1565, when Elizabeth I granted the island to the nobleman Hellier de Carteret in return for his protection against pirates, the Seigneurs have ruled this rock.
The Seigneurs paid the British Crown a mere £1.79 annually to keep the island, and in return held the privilege of granting landowners the permission to buy and sell their houses, but only if they swear allegiance to the Crown and pay the Seigneurs one-13th of the property’s purchase price
Many of the laws, particularly those related to inheritance and the rule of the Seigneur, had changed little since they were enacted in 1565 under Queen Elizabeth I.
For instance, the Seigneur retained the sole right on the island to keep pigeons and, until 2008, the only person allowed to keep an unspayed dog. He also owns all the debris washed up between the high and low tides.
Seigneur’s ancient feudal powers came under threat when in 1993, the billionaire Barclay brothers, Sir David and Sir Frederick, owners of The Ritz hotel and Telegraph newspapers, bought Sark’s tiny offshore island of Brecqhou.
In accordance with Sark’s feudal laws, the Barclays were forced to pay a property tax of £179,230 that went straight into Beaumont’s pocket instead of going to the state.
Of further irritation to the Barclays was the law of primogeniture, meaning that property must pass whole and undivided into the hands of the eldest male heir.
They challenged this law in court, won and got the law changed. Still not contented, the Barclays began to insist on democratic reforms on Sark, and in doing so, sowed the seeds of a civil unrest among the residents of the sleepy Crown protectorate.
The Home of the Seigneurs.
Finally in 2008, the island’s adult population democratically elected a 28-members strong parliament, ending the 443 years of feudal rule.
The Seigneurs property tax was scrapped, and in its place Sark’s 22nd Seigneur – Michael Beaumont – would receive an annual £28,000, a perk that he can pass on through his heirs in perpetuity.
Political issues aside, Sark is an idyllic spot for a vacation. To reach Sark, tourists have to take a plane to Guernsey and then get on a ferry for a 45-minute ride to the island.
Cars are illegal on Sark. The only vehicles allowed are horse-drawn carriages, bicycles, tractors, and battery-powered buggies or motorised bicycles for elderly or disabled people.
Even the ambulance and the fire truck are not allowed engines and have to be towed to emergencies by farm tractor. Getting around the island, however, isn’t much of a problem as it’s only around two square miles in size and can be explored on foot.
With no airstrip, no motor cars or tarmac roads, life on Sark remains visibly unaffected by modern life.
The island has two churches, two pubs, a village hall, one school, one volunteer policeman and a two-cell jail that mostly remains empty. A resident doctor provides healthcare on Sark. Fire and rescue services are provided by volunteers.
There are a couple of hotels and guest houses to stay.
Ingrid Bergman photographed during the filming of her first film Munkbrogreven (The Count of Monk’s Bridge).
Here are beautiful portrait photos of classic Hollywood actresses before they were famous.
The word “pizza” is thought to have come from the Latin word pinsa, meaning flatbread (although there is much debate about the origin of the word). A legend suggests that Roman soldiers gained a taste for Jewish Matzoth while stationed in Roman occupied Palestine and developed a similar food after returning home.
However a recent archeological discovery has found a preserved Bronze Age pizza in the Veneto region.
By the Middle Ages these early pizzas started to take on a more modern look and taste. The peasantry of the time used what few ingredients they could get their hands on to produce the modern pizza dough and topped it with olive oil and herbs.
The introduction of the Indian Water Buffalo gave pizza another dimension with the production of mozzarella cheese. Even today, the use of fresh mozzarella di buffalo in Italian pizza cannot be substituted.
While other cheeses have made their way onto pizza (usually in conjunction with fresh mozzarella), no Italian Pizzeria would ever use the dried shredded type used on so many American pizzas.
The introduction of tomatoes to Italian cuisine in the 18th and early 19th centuries finally gave us the true modern Italian pizza. Even though tomatoes reached Italy by the 1530s it was widely thought that they were poisonous and were grown only for decoration.
However the innovative (and probably starving) peasants of Naples started using the supposedly deadly fruit in many of their foods, including their early pizzas.
Since that fateful day the world of Italian cuisine would never be the same, however it took some time for the rest of society to accept this crude peasant food.
Once members of the local aristocracy tried pizza they couldn’t get enough of it, which by this time was being sold on the streets of Naples for every meal. As pizza popularity increased, street vendors gave way to actual shops where people could order a custom pizza with many different toppings.
By 1830 the “Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba” of Naples had become the first true pizzeria and this venerable institution is still producing masterpieces.
The popular pizza Margherita owes its name to Italy’s Queen Margherita who in 1889 visited the Pizzeria Brandi in Naples.
The Pizzaioli (pizza maker) on duty that day, Rafaele Esposito created a pizza for the Queen that contained the three colors of the new Italian flag.
The red of tomato, white of the mozzarella and fresh green basil was a hit with the Queen and the rest of the world. Neapolitan style pizza had now spread throughout Italy and each region started designing their own versions based on the Italian culinary rule of fresh, local ingredients.
Read on via History of Pizza | Italy.