Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tourist Lanes - Jeff Greenspan

After Mayor Bloomberg gave his thumbs up on the idea of tourist lanes on New York City sidewalks, some Improv Everywhere performers decided to take to the streets to enforce the pedestrian penalties, making sure New Yorkers always have the right of way.

Dressing up as Department of Transportation workers, the team delegated the titles to passerbys and directed them to the appropriate lane. Tourists could now feel free to stop mid-stride in order to consult their map, window shop, or take a snapshot of their vacation outside a Starbucks.

They even went so far as to poll those test subjects for this experiment and most of the responses were in favor of citizen seperation. The video below shows Improv Everywhere, the notorious public assembly pranksters, as they show us the New Yorker's dream come true.

This idea may've been floating in the minds of many of the minds day in and day out, especially for those of us who've worked in Times Square, but it was one concerned citizen by the name of Jeff Greenspan that took to the streets to do something about it.

As a native New Yorker, Jeff knows about crowded sidewalks, whether it's in Park Slope where he was born, or in the East Village where he's lived for the last several years.

The neighborhood that was once a bohemian jungle is now the victim of capitalism and tourism dollars. Fancy boutiques and upscale restaurants tucked on old neighborhood blocks draw the out-of-towners.

So Jeff took his idea, bought a toy linemaker (later replacing it with a wheeled field marker) and a can of spray chalk, with two stencils he ordered online: NEW YORKERS & TOURISTS.

Having kicked off his idea that was part street art and part suggesting statement on Rivington in the Lower East Side (across from trendy restaurant Schiller's), he then took off for Elizabeth Street, East 3rd, and Houston, usually doing his work at 1am.

The statement got noticed and began circulating around blogs such as Gothamist, to the pages of the Daily News, to CNN online, with mentions on NY1, the Times and on the Wall Street Journal's site, the Huffington Post and Boing Boing. It was going viral.

With the first images of tourist lanes going international, Barcelona joining in on the friendly suggestion, the idea is still growing. A concept that Jeff fully embraces.

"Not only do I want to encourage others to go and draw their own lanes (in removable landscape chalk) I also want to set up a website where people can request a lane on their block."

Jeff would rather this be seen as a helpful service though, rather than a cynical statement. If Bloomberg would issue permits he'd gladly take to the busy sidewalks and draw a line in the sand.

Duffel bag, security, intent to clean.
Tourist manners, learn the language, learn the flow.
DOT apology.
PIT theatre. Bush Booth, Chicken vs Egg.
Banksy. Walkright.
Shepherd Fairey.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mercury University

Flash monthly superhero

All-Flash anthology
Mercury University
(John Fox, Jesse Chambers, Max Mercury, Xs, Tornado Twins, Cobalt Blue)

Wally in DCAU
(Walter West, Kobra, Abra Kadaver)

Impulse all ages
(Inertia, Jai West, Linda Park, Joan Garrick, LOSH)

Time travel. Cosmic Treadmill. Speed Force.
Vibrations & chemicals. Old school. (Pre school)

Rogues as elemental forces of the world
Alchemical mix, speedforce the bio-electricity, life itself.


Green Lantern
Green Lantern Corp

Explosion of Universe

Monday, June 14, 2010


Jeff Greenspan
East Village
Born in Park Slope
Raised on Long Island

Shepherd Fairrey - bodyguard street art

NY is crazy w/tourists, Times Square
Nothing against tourists
LES, Rivington
Elizabeth St
E3rd St
1am, late night

Charlie Todd Improv Everywhere
Theatrical, Dept of Transportation
Focus group
Segregation, anti-tourists
But not

Brooklyn born, NYer.
Lots of similar minded
EV, gentrification
Bistros, cafes, tourists
Lost bohemia

Attach to tourists

Rent vs East Village life

Wash Sq Park, Times Square, Herald Square
Bloomberg Approved
Website street requests

DOT apology
Helpful service vs cynical statement
Battle for space, subway seats, sidewalk stride

Sudden stopping, caution may make sudden stops t-shirt

Map open beeping. Human Tetris.
Prevent injury.

Linemaker soccer field
Landscape chalk, spray Rust-Oleum
Grass, dirt, concrete, gravel
Stencils made online.

Duffel bag security
Surgical gloves
Orange vest, clipboard

Chalk designs on sidewalks
Two gal of cleaning fluid
Intent to clean
Vandalize, improve city

Go to another country to learn the language, learn the flow of New York City.

No previous street art. Art piece/public service.
"Next project, solve chicken vs egg, ordering from NY restaurants."

Crowdsource it. NY, community involvement.
Which comes

Bush Booth
6 hour Bush video of him listening, vent to president, have him listen to our complaints, NYC, Chicago, Amsterdam.

Room for expression here, streets, galleries, restaurants.

Help solve problems or be more aware of the world around them. Art and humor to solve problems.

Cops stopped and got ice cream on 5th Ave line. 2:30 PM. Improv Everywhere.

NYers laughed. No complaints, happy to comply, agreeable. We can all get along on the streets of NYC." Not a fan of segregation, just a fan of traffic flow.

Two Tourists, rolling luggage, twice as much room taken up. 39th & 9th. Lunch break. Impossible to navigate, ban rolling luggage.

Toy linemaker, not straight line.
Never get attention that it did. Barcelona. At least make people laugh, or help people get there faster.
Comedy, news, blogs. Mark Armstrong. 5th ave.

Bowery Boogie, Rivington. EvGrieves. Time Out Tumblr.
First lines. Blogs. 99% positive comments.

Gothamist. To DN & Post. NY1.
CNN online. NY Mag. AP, San Fran, Maryland, Times, Wall Street Journal website. BoingBoing.
Huffington Post. Observer.

Anonymously famous. Embraced it. Performance.
Banksy, genius. 70's WalkRight. No made lanes.

PIT Theatre, Bush Booth, art galleries, launch from humor into art.

Great ideas, someone should do that, act on that idea, seeing it embraced, great colloborations, good intention, falling into place. Going international, sharing it, remained only an idea. Encourage take an idea and put energy behind it.

Chicken vs Egg ideas.

Humor as philosophical art.
Film, toughest question

Encourage people make their own lanes, surrendering the idea, borrow equipment. Extra stencils, lots of spray chalk. Open to colloborations. Permit.

New Yorkers/Terrorists
Duffel bags breed suspicion. Ski-masks. Duffel bags fill with ski-masks.

Progression of viral.

Apologies to DOT. Cleaning. 30 days. Hands & knees scrubbing it. Enviromently green.

No negative aspects. Mayor's embrace. Grant from Bloomberg. Help out the city. Request a lane.
Locals vs tourists.

Streets are a place to express themselves. Traffic did move faster that day, studies to show speed improvement. Agent Cody...

Focus group, into the idea.