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We love our readers, and our dedicated readers here know just how much we love street art! We met up with one reader, Laura, over brunch in the Williamsburg neighborhood and knowing us, she suggested we visit 5Pointz. Not even many New Yorkers know about this spot, she told us, and we would have never come across it at all if it weren’t for her! Thanks so much, Laura!
Dedicated entirely to street art, 5 Pointz: The Institute of Higher Burnin’ is an open air street art gallery in an abandoned factory out in Long Island City, a neighborhood in the southwest of Queens. Street Art and graffiti is illegal in New York, even today, but in the early 1990s, an organization called Graffiti Terminators aimed to discourage ‘vandalism’ and encourage artists to paint here, on a formal showcase instead. In 2002, street artist Meres took over in the role of curator who selected street artists to fill the walls with their work in a rotating exhibition.
Now, 5Pointz is well-known around the world and aspiring as well as established street artists from all over the world come here to paint graffiti. However, even though this five-story building and its 200,000 sq feet of surface is completely covered in murals and tags, this is much more for street artists than for admirers. On our visit we saw many more artists than ‘tourists’, and even the tourists were, like us, street art fanatics rather than random passersby.
Unfortunately, there are some rumors that this space will be demolished to make room for a condominium tower, so if you are a lover of street art and in New York, make sure to head there sooner rather than later or this New York City Street Art Mecca might not exist the next time you get to the city.