America, Creativity, Travel, Walks

Serendipitous Pavement Art – New York

It was 2017.

We were celebrating our second year as full-time housesitters in Europe with a “treat” trip to New York on our way to visit folk in NZ for a few weeks. Autumn was starting to take effect in New York, with bracing temperatures that made us walk faster than usual for miles on end to explore and keep warm.

Sometimes when I get tired, I do tend to stare down, with my feet still surprisingly marching along even though my brain is screaming, “For goodness sake have a break”. Of course, I didn’t listen and we kept going. One certain wet afternoon we stumbled upon quite a few pavement plaques. It ignited our interest so much so that our energy levels were magically restored.

The Pavement Art I am referring to is the ambitious LeFevre project which lines East 41st Street between Fifth and Park Avenues. Bronze plaques sculptured by Mr LeFevre, all 96 of them, bear quotations from famous writers: Mark Twain, Langston Hughes, Albert Camus, Dylan Thomas, José Martí, to name a few.

Artwork illustrates their words.

As you can imagine we only managed less than half of them, as it was starting to get more crowded on that sidewalk with office dwellers streaming out of their offices.

Outside the New York Public Library.jpg

Library Way’s location was thoughtfully created as the street leads straight to the main entrance of New York Public Library’s historic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

Here are a few I did capture as people rushed past me not bothering to look down.

Bohumil Hrabal [1914 – 1997] “Too Loud a Solitude”

Bohumil Hrabal

Garson Kanin [1912 – 1999] “Born Yesterday”

Garson Kanin

We did manage to have a coffee break and a sit down in between reading and reflecting.

Les looking forward to having his coffee

José Martí [1853-1895] “On Oscar Wilde”

Jose Marti on Oscar Wilde

Kate Chopin [1851-1904] “The Awakening”

Kate Chopin

Thomas Jefferson [1743-1826] “Letter to Colonel Charles Yancey”

Thomas Jefferson

To read more inspiring quotes on the streets of New York Library-way

Isn’t it so refreshing in this dense and sometimes overwhelming city that visitors and locals can see things that make them pause and reflect? I do, as these are the moments that made our time in New York magical.

Serendipitous Pavement Art New York.jpg

To read more about our time in New York:

Two Urban Wanderers in NYC
NYC To New Orleans – The Amtrak Way

33 thoughts on “Serendipitous Pavement Art – New York”

  1. Love everything about this. The quote about the press is my favourite, especially in view of our current time when there is so much information available but everyone has an agenda!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never been to NY and haven’t heard of this pavement art before, but should I ever get there I will make sure to go see it, especially since I already want to visit that glorious public library! 😄 All great quotes but the one by Jefferson is my favourite. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Must agree Sarah, the Jefferson quote is an excellent one. Mine would be Emily Dickinson. Actually all of tgem were favourites as they survived the “editors cut” 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was fun and a spread out enough to digest what was written. Though to be honest I can’t remember the exact distance. The biggest thing was not to bang into people 😊 Not many locals walk slow to observe what’s around them!

      Liked by 1 person

          1. No, it’s not your end, I don’t think it’s me either, I think it’s s whole WP thing. It started with following posts from Twitter, now it’s any time, but I know other people are also affected this way too.

            I noticed it after they changed the editor thing but I’m not a techie. V annoying

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I’ve found that Grammarly isn’t working correctly on WP. Your right Sonia it is very annoying. Unfortnately, along with change there is always going to be hiccups!

              Liked by 1 person

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