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Outdoor Art Is Back in NYC

Ellen Levitt

Posted on September 6, 2020 14:05

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More "normalcy" is returning, culturally, to NYC. The SoHo Art Walk brought out lots of people on a beautiful Saturday.

I'm a lifelong New Yorker who has always enjoyed events held around New York City: events with art, music, performance, fashion, history, culture, and other entertaining and intriguing things to see and do. Even as a kid my parents and brother and I would attend various street fairs and events, indoors and out, to check out events and gatherings. Sometimes we just went for "something to do," and other times we've gone for inspiration.

The springtime and early summer of 2020 had been pretty much devoid of in-person events, and it felt harsh. At first, I did check out several online events but after a while, I burnt out. Screen time was a let down when I indulged in it too much.

That's why I was so eager to check out the Soho Art Walk that I read about in one of the many Arts & Culture emails I receive each week: Thrillist, the Skint, Time Out NY, and others inform readers like me weekly (or even daily) about "something to do" that might actually be quite exciting or at least meaningful in doses. And these also reflect on the diversity and energy of life in New York City in general. (They also stand in contrast with the many protests and rallies that have taken place around New York City, of which I attended three, and glimpsed at others in passing.)

We drove from Brooklyn to the SoHo neighborhood on Saturday afternoon, and actually found a decent parking spot without much effort! (That is definitely a reality of 2020, for better or worse.) We walked over to Greene Street and found people painting at their easels and on larger canvases. It was fun, light-hearted and so quintessentially New York.

Along with other people, we also checked out stores and their windows, admired some of the distinctive architecture, listened to a very good guitarist soloing on electric guitar who stood in front of a SoHo art walk painting), and more.

Except that nearly everyone wore masks, it felt like a summery Saturday afternoon of any other year, and I appreciated that. We chatted with some of the artists and other passers-by; we stopped inside a few stores but avoided others that had slow lines, like a sneaker shop and Dior; we cooed at cute dogs being walked along the streets, and so much more.

It really felt like summer. It really felt like New York City. It was fun, it was see-and-be-seen and worthy of social media. 

A few times I paused and wondered, am I trying too hard to find the heart of New York City, and searching too eagerly for the past, or at least for some semblance of New York City that has been embalmed in amber? 

Yeah, maybe. But we were also having a good time, walking around, people watching and art admiring. That is a big part of why I love my city. 

Ellen Levitt

Posted on September 6, 2020 14:05

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Source: NPR

The wide-ranging shows presented by one of the nation's top performing arts centers are a summer staple in New York City....

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