POOR XOLA, Tribeca

by Kevin Walsh

In Tribeca, there’s a little stub of Franklin Street at Finn Square, where West Broadway meets Varick Street, between Franklin Street’s lengthier stretches west and east. The triangle has been occupied by the northbound IRT train entrance since 1918, with a picturesque kiosk since the 1980s. Formerly open to traffic, the stub has been closed since 2014 when a Citibike rack was placed in it, and the pavement has been occupied by two installations of public street art.

The second of these, “Xola (Stay in Peace)” by artist Imani Shanklin Roberts, consists of colorful patterns of geometric shapes. Since it is co-sponsored by Citibike, I imagine it was installed independently of the racks and seems to date back to 2017. Unfortunately, though, street repairs go on and on and half of it seems to have been paved over for the majority of its existence.

I have left the time stamp on this Google Street View scene from 2017, which shows the pavement mural in its original appearance, fully covering the street between the curb and the bike racks.

I dunno, if I were Imani Shanklin Roberts, I’d be all over the Department of Transportation to restore it was it was, but maybe she doesn’t know what happened to her mural! Somebody drop her a line…

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Alan Gregg Cohen March 16, 2022 - 4:23 pm

The street mural now looks horrible. Obviously the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing in the city of New York.

Tal Barzilai March 21, 2022 - 1:50 am

You can blame the bike zealots for ruining that mural.


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