Love 'em or hate 'em, the LinkNYC kiosks–those modern tech columns that offer free internet accesss on city streets–are now a part of our everyday lives.
Walking down the streets of Harlem recently, I noticed flashing on the screens–amid the event listings and seemingly random bits of information–two cool illustrations of uptown buildings.
The credits reveal they are the work of James Gulliver Hancock, the obsessive artist behind the popular 2013 book All the Buildings in New York, which has been reprinted at least eight times. (There are now similar books for London, Sydney, Melbourne, and, most recently, Paris; the artist himself is originally from Australia).
The two buildings appearing on LinkNYC screens are Harlem's Apollo Theater and 549 Riverside Drive, a residential building in Morningside Heights (although I think there was a mix-up and the correct address is 200 Claremont Avenue, one block east).
It turns out both illustrations were drawn many years ago–in 2011 to be precise. Seven years later, the buildings (thankfully) still look more or less the same. But if you know anything about these two neighborhoods, you're aware that everything around them is transforming at lightning speed.
Hancock's illustrations won't be on LinkNYC forever, but you can visit his blog and admire them there. Better yet, buy the book or order prints of either (or any!) drawing in one of two sizes ($50 or $90).
And if there's another uptown building you love, Hancock also works on commission and will hand-paint the building of your choice for $500. It's a great way to capture a piece of the neighborhood as it looks today–but maybe not tomorrow.