In the 1970s, almost every New York subway train was covered in graffiti. Artists like Fab 5 Freddy gained star status thanks to the graffiti-covered trains that carried their tags from borough to borough throughout the city. Then came the clean train movement, which took the last graffiti-covered train out of service in 1989.
Throughout the 1990s, graffiti artists took to the city’s rooftops and streets, although most all graffiti-covered districts were cleaned up by the early 2000s, just like the subway was decades ago. But on one SoHo street, contemporary street artists are still at work. Despite SoHo being gentrified beyond recognition for anybody who knew it a decade or so ago, Crosby Street is, on the surface, still a great street to catch a glimpse of old New York.
Pictured here on Crosby Street (along with former Amsterdam spotter Tomek) are COST tags by infamous graffiti artist Adam Cole. These tags had New Yorkers buzzing for decades, starting in the 1990s when The New York Times published an article about his mysterious messages that began appearing all over the city.
While you’re in SoHo:
Grab a drink at a local-favorite bar. First opened in the 1800s, it was turned into the bar and restaurant it is today in 1922 (check the Fanelli Cafe article).