Instead of reading the newspaper in the morning (and becoming a nervous wreck all day from the sad headlines of the day), I’ve been tuning to TED talks which I find downright inspiring (fuels me more than my scramble eggs in the morn). When I listened to Janette Sadik-Khan’s talk (p.s. she’s the transportation commissioner of New York City), I totally forgot about eating my toasted bread before it became cold … the visual slides showing what PAINT (innovation) can do for community streets became my caffeine! Check out how paint has transformed these streets. Let’s travel to Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn … check out the photo below, in particular the street in the right side of the photo.
With paint and some epoxy gravel, the triangle was connected to the sidewalk. “The more people on foot is better for business”, says Janette. Oh, how I totally agree! There are so many stores that I have unexpectedly found simply by walking instead of zooming (um, not that I speed) through the streets. When I am driving in my car I am not sightseeing, I am heading to a particular location. I love this photo below, when I look at it I see (not a street) but a community! Oh, the power of paint!
Ready for more? I travel often to Union Square (visit clients, stores, restaurant, and this corner store of Petco shown on the pic below), and this is what I normally saw:
So of course I was very confused (like, where am i?) and in awe (picture me standing with a huge smile), when one day I get out of the subway, walk straight out and see this transformation ……
With paint, the sidewalk was expanded (light gray paint color), bike route was added (green paint color with white paint icons), and you know seeing plants made me giddy all over. When I used to cross the street I remember feeling tense zooming across like in the game of Frogger (remember that game peeps!); crossing the street now-a-days is so much happier for me (picture me skipping as I cross LalaLala). I also find that people aren’t zooming as they walk. Hmm, could it be the
flowers plants in the air streets?! Oh, paint how I love thee!
Let’s travel to Brooklyn again, this time at DUMBO hood which I love and hadn’t visited it when it looked like this …..
But with our best friend, Mr. paint-tastic (and furniture of course), the parking triangle was converted to this . . . .
It has been “decorated” since then, still with paint, but instead of solid color there is cool graphic designs like the HUGE hand under my feet in the below photo.
Check out the polka-dotted street in the below photo. It’s right outside Macy’s in Herold Square (34th street in Manhattan)
If you want to watch Janette’s talk, here it is below.
So, is paint FUN? I sure think so. I also think it’s magical. With a
wand brush/spray, it can cheer up a dreary apartment/house and even spruce up a street, even make us tough New Yorkers smile a bit more. Now, I’m itching to paint something in my home. Hmm, maybe my living room’s accent wall. Maybe. Have you painted any projects lately (wall, furniture, accessories, … street)? At the end of Janette’s talk she says “re-image your streets there in plain sight.” I say, re-image your rooms with new paint colors, how would that feel? Perhaps refreshing, fun, serene, more ‘you’.