Vans a Sight to Behold

Posted on: October 19th, 2009 at 6:35 am by

Around noontime yesterday, two unique personality-driven vehicles motored west on Delancey before turning right onto Allen Street.  Both vans were truly a sight to behold, with motorists and pedestrians alike staring in awe.  One was sheathed in a crazy assortment of colorful cameras (dubbed the “Camera Van”); the other had metallic ornamentation welded to it, and was towing a music-themed punchbuggy (dubbed “Musicar”) studded with guitars, turntables, keyboards, and other random instruments.

UPDATE: Art Cars are in town for a documentary screening at Anthology.  Many more were parked outside on East Second Street.

This image has been archived or removed.

The “Camera Van” is the work of artist and filmmaker Harrod Blank, and is just one of many so-called Art Cars.  Here is the history as told on his website:

One night In the fall of 1993, Harrod Blank had a dream in which he covered his car with cameras and then drove around and took pictures of people on the streets. The public, unaware that the cameras worked, reacted naturally. At the end of the dream, Harrod looked at pictures taken with the van of faces frozen in the moment of awe, pictures so powerful that the next morning he decided to attempt to build such a vehicle in reality.

With the help of Dan Lohaus and some other friends, Harrod spent the next two years designing and building the van. With a lot of trial & error, the van was completed in 1995 and made it’s debut voyage in April leaving his home in Berkeley California, stoping in Houston and New Orleans and ending up in New York City where he would live and take pictures with the van for the following six months.

This image has been archived or removed.

More Art Cars can be seen here.

Recent Stories

Displaced Chinatown Business Returns Months After Devastating Fire

Four months after a deadly fire knocked out 78 Mulberry Street, one of its businesses returned to the scene. Ewa Trading Company reopened in its former Chinatown home earlier this week. The store had spent some of the interim displacement period selling from a shuttered Vietnamese restaurant a few paces north. The two-alarm fire broke […]

EDC Sues Essex Restaurant for Back Rent over Former Essex Market Lease

Three years removed from its relocation across Rivington Street, the city filed suit against the Essex restaurant for alleged unpaid rent. The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) sued Essex for nearly $60,000 in unpaid back rent on the former Essex Market building it previously occupied, according to the lawsuit filed Monday. The city entity claims that […]

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 – […]