Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sand art

When I was little, I lusted after those sand art kits that all my friends had. Unfortunately, like glitter, that was off limits in apartment 4F. At various birthday parties and playdates, I got to experiment with the glass vials full of colorful sand, and try my hand at making my own designs, but I was never too good at it. The sand was just so fine, and slithery, it was hard to contain and I got frustrated easily.

Fast forward 20-some odd years and I'm once again obsessed with the stuff. There's a guy in Union Square who is a master of sand art. He's generally there on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays (when the farmers market isn't) with new (and brilliant) designs. He does it without a pattern, without a stencil, just the sand and a little brush. In a ridiculously dirty city where the garbage is vandalized before it's collected, it amazes me that his street art isn't disturbed. I'm not sure what time he packs up for the day, but sometimes I walk through the park at 10 or 11pm on Tuesday nights and it's still there. Passersby take great care to walk around. Dog walkers hold the leashes tightly to keep their dogs from sniffing. I'm not sure when the sand is swept away, or who does the sweeping, but on Wednesday morning, when the farmers set up shop in the square, there's no trace of the colorful flecks. Anywhere.

And if you'd like to see more of his work, he suggests a donation of $1 to help fund his projects.

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