Flowers on the Sidewalk

Posted on: July 29th, 2008 at 9:45 am by
Despite the seemingly neverending “gold rush,” grimy street art still thrives in the East Village/LES. In fact, it’s now considered urban chic, and shamelessly whored for $300 jeans (i.e. John Varvatos). Vandalism in the name of aesthetics always sells. Especially in an uber-trendy area.

This image has been archived or removed.

[Bowery and Prince]

The community is probably all-too-familiar with these dripping flowers painted on our trash-ridden sidewalks. Indeed, there is even one tagged right outside my apartment. This led me on a local quest of sorts to seek out and photograph more slabs of concrete boasting the icon.

Initial research led me to believe that these floral motifs were the work of Michael De Feo [link], a downtown artist in the early nineties. But I was certainly weary of the results. So, in an effort to curb my confusion, I contacted De Feo directly. Here is what he said:


Thanks for your email. The drip flowers are not mine…. it’s a very common misconception.
If memory serves me, I began seeing them probably around 2001 or so…. I began my flower project in 1992 or so….
Have a great day!

Michael De Feo

De Feo’s flower paste-ups eventually became a worldwide institution, and in 2006, NY Magazine [link] designated it reason number “124” to love the city (even though there were 123). Post a comment if you’ve seen any around town!

This image has been archived or removed.

Recent Stories

Exile on Orchard Street: Tenement Museum Recreates Exhibits During Renovations

The Tenement Museum is amidst a preservation project at 97 Orchard Street, but will continue its programming with replicas not too far away. The 1863-era tenement this past Sunday embarked on “vital” restoration work to preserve its walls, floors, roof, as well as the installation of a new HVAC system that will provide improved climate […]

Former Home of Stanton Social on the LES Hits Market for $5.9M

Stanton Social has been in the grave for nearly four years. Now, its former home is back on the market. The two-story building – located at 99 Stanton Street in Hell Square – carries an asking price of $5.9 million. B6 Real Estate Advisors is listed as the exclusive brokerage for the property, which has […]

DOT to Pave Pock-Marked Pell Street; Sheds Removed

Pell Street is finally on deck for a resurfacing, forcing numerous Chinatown businesses to dismantle their street shed annexes. Those who operate outdoor dining sheds along Pell Street received notice this week from the Department of Transportation to dismantle structure ahead of scheduled street repaving. This small neighborhood street – which once terminated at Division – […]

Immersive ‘Squid Game’ Experience on the Lower East Side

Netflix smash, Squid Game, is coming to real life. On the Lower East Side. In the fall, international gaming company Immersive Gamebox will take space inside 81 Essex Street, the big-box building occupied by the International Center of Photography. Its primary experience will be a multiplayer game built around the Squid Game series. The immersive […]

Owners of Gertie Eye Market Street for ‘Jackie’ (Updated)

Huertas and Gertie meet for Jackie. That is the narrative for a new restaurant in Two Bridges that features the owners behind both aforementioned establishments. Indeed, Nathan Adler and Rachel Jackson (principals behind Brooklyn’s Gertie) are planning a new Italian-American restaurant at 42 Market Street. The fourteen table concept, dubbed Jackie, will feature “good food […]