Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sumo among giants


The old New Yorker Hotel just north of Penn station
has seen better days.
However, from the glory days of a luxury hotel packing in big spenders and the famous, to a much less glamorous existence as a"value" hotel for tourists and package travel, it's maintained its awesome size and girth. It's an impressive block of brick.
Very Gotham City.
When approaching from New Jersey via train you can't miss the huge light sign on top of the building, the east facing facade. It's a welcome to New York as impressive as any.
Regrettably the old and very beautiful sign was recently taken down and up went an equally big, but not half as beautifully designed re-construction.
I guess the old sign was falling apart.
They don't do neon signs as they used too.
Or they didn't hire a talented enough designer to do the job.
Opposite the hotel's main entrance, across 8th Avenue, is the site for one of New York's more impressive commercial murals.
Still painted by hand.
I wonder how much paint it takes?
Exactly how long it takes?
How many brushes?
And how much patience?
I now for sure it takes weeks, even months, to cover the wall.
They do it about once or twice per year.
I pass through there most every day, so I've seen the process and the different messages over the years.
First they paint over the old one with white or black depending what comes up next.
Then they start on the actual motif.
Right now a massive Sumo wrestler cover the wall.
Very fitting next to the New Yorker.
www.newyorkerhotel.com
Although I figure sumo wrestler are more Tokyo.
But the biggest of them all was from Hawaii.
I am not sure, but I think he's the guy on the wall.

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