Fun fact: my first New York City apartment while going to the Fashion Institute of Technology after living in a dorm for two years was in the Lower East Side. The Bowery isn’t exactly the Lower East Side, not exactly SoHo, or not exactly Chinatown. It’s in the middle of everything. I used to love walking from LES over to SoHo for meetings, shopping, or just hanging out with friends. For citizenM’s newest location opening on the Bowery, they want to shed light on the people who live there. I was able to attend the light show where they revealed their newest location with a spectacular public gallery across their 22 story building. Their new location is at the intersection of everything that is cool downtown which was so refreshing for me to visit my old neighborhood crossroads.
Paying tribute to the citizens of the Bowery, citizenM covered the facade of their new hotel with the faces of the people that make the Bowery what it is, photographed by Christelle de Castro. When citizenM becomes part of a neighborhood or street, they count on the local heroes, adding value and participating in the neighborhood. The butcher, the barista, the tattoo artist, the activist, the artist, the volunteer, the dog walker, to name just a few. The public gallery is paying tribute to the citizens of the Bowery. The oldest street in New York City. Once home to the Bowery Boys Gang in the 19th century and the birthplace of modern tattooing, the Bowery is now the Gateway to the infamous Chinatown.
One individual local Bowery citizen stood out the most to me, Kembra Pfahler. Her striking headshot caught my attention. She’s a Bowery resident since 1979 and has such a fun quote from her Q&A that I love, “Where would you recommend visitors to go?
The 7-11. Find some cardboard. Write on it ‘I am visiting the Bowery - this is a performance art piece’. Accept small change. Walk down two blocks and give the money away.”
Just perfect! She is correct! There is so much to see around the Bowery. So many artists, so much life! I can’t wait to spend some time at citizenM once it opens to the public!