East Village reportage


This is a drawing of my favorite corner in New York City. I’ve spent many hours on this corner shooting video, but I’ve never drawn it until now. It’s walking distance from where I live, and it reminds me of the old New York, the one I grew up in. On a hot summer day in the East Village you’ll see kids playing in an open hydrant, folks hanging out windows calling to each other, couples kissing, teenagers listening to music, and people playing card games on the old fashioned card tables. It’s like the Bronx, circa 1973, has been brought back to life. Now some people might not consider that a good thing, but to me it feels very familiar and I like it! I decided to do a small reportage of my neighborhood in NY for the International Sketchbook project, and am posting some of the drawings here. It’s funny how we overlook our own neighborhoods and run all over the world looking for the ‘authentic’ experience. Well, the authentic experience of a New York city park would be this one below, guys playing handball:


The graffiti is ubiquitous and adds a lot to the graphics. Plus it’s fun to draw. And of course, the dogs are ubiquitous as well, meaning, they are  EVERYWHERE in NYC, especially in Tompkins Square park…


The little darlings…well, at least this lady thinks so. The dogs seem to love the city, especially with so many opportunities for ‘alfresco’ diners to drop little pieces of their repast. Sabrett hot dogs, mustard covered pretzels, potato knishes, bagels, shish-ke-bab…it’s a regular doggie heaven out here.


As official urban residents, the dogs are welcome in all the cafes as well. Tiny dog and laptop, the NOW accessories of the village…acoustic guitars are optional!


I call the drawing above, dueling laptops! It was drawn in a small coffee shop across from the park. The shop has all the Village necessities – wobbly tables, obscure slightly bluesy music playing, photos of people you don’t recognize, mismatched chandeliers for effect, stale coffee cake and, of course, burnt coffee.  Ugh. I enjoy the atmosphere of the place but prefer my coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts!! Actually I prefer Chock Full of Nuts but those places are long gone. However, it was a nice experience to treat my home like a tourist and draw a bit. Think I’ll do more as the summer progresses. That is, if it would ever stop raining….

Comments (3)

  1. Don McNulty

    Love these lively drawings and the interesting commentary, always a fun visit here, also inspiring for my wannabe drawing efforts.

  2. Frank Bettendorf

    These are wonderful! I like the concept and the execution. I’m hoping that you’ll do more of these before the neighborhood gets a “make-over” and the authentic atmosphere is gone. I’m very impressed with the Studio 1482 Daily Drawings; exciting images, well done and the written narrative is some of the best I’ve read. Please pass on my congratulations to the others. Frank

  3. admin

    Thank you for your comments! Frank, I’ll pass your congrats on to the other members of Studio 1482.

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