Back on the streets and into the hood, each corner we turned within the maze of Woodstock's streets held something of a surprise. Note how the minaret of the mosque in the background adds to the Islamic theme of the mural.
Then there's Gympie Street, a once notorious part of Woodstock famed for gang clashes, heavy drug dealing (the locals call it Drug Alley) and “smash and grab” thefts and muggings. They've obviously cleaned it up quite a bit and the street art adds a civilized air to a street once known as one of the most dangerous in the world.
We were surprised and disappointed to see some work defaced by taggers. We wondered the thoughts, if any, behind the vandalism. Dislike of the work? Disrespect to the artist? Or more probably … I've got a spray can and want to put my mark here?
Some of the buildings are so derelict and dilapidated, we wondered how they managed to still be standing. Others had been reclaimed and gentrified … fresh paint, windows replaced, latched ornate gates leading to small garden plots. There seems to be no distinct line of demarcation between the two and the street art works to tie it all together
Vacant lots, strewn with trash and old rubbish, begged to be included … and they were.
The messages are varied. Masai from the UK concentrates on endangered species.
We especially liked several murals by Jack Fox. The shrewd “fox” always has a story to tell.
And so, we've shared with you some of what we saw, but I did save the best till last. My favorite ...
By the way, if ever anyone asks me to describe a perfect day … this was mine.
Note: I did my best to attribute the artist's name to every piece that I could. For those I could not attribute, I beg the pardon of the artist.