Monday, November 23, 2009


I had a busy weekend. I was out all day photographing street art on Friday (I didn't even bother to go to work) and on Saturday morning I had a real urban adventure.

For months on my way to and from Dave's, I'd seen interesting graffiti from the train as it passed through Secaucus, N.J. On Saturday I decided to find this graffiti, which is painted on the concrete support pillars for a huge overpass of the New Jersey Turnpike.

I took the train out to Secaucus and began walking. I'll spare you all the details except to say it took a good 45 minutes of trial and error before I finally found myself beneath the Turnpike, which towered over my head. The ground beneath it is marshy and full of tufted brown grasses taller than I am.

Walking around down there was a bit treacherous -- more than once I took a step onto what looked like solid ground, only to be up to my ankles in mud. (And this being an industrial area of New Jersey, God only knows what's in all that mud.)

I did eventually make my way over to the graffiti, though, and it was terrific. A street artist named Faro painted several of his trademark mummies on the concrete pillars, including these two.

This guy seems to be saying "Rock on!"

Getting back to the train was much easier because I knew which route to take. All my photos will be up on Flickr in about a week!


  1. I think the mummy is saying "Rock on, Steve, for persevering in your efforts to get here."

    OK. Maybe not.

    Amazing pics, however. Wow!

  2. OK, that sounds like lots of fun.

    And I know absolutely nothing about Secaucus, except for the fact that it's in the title of one of one of my favorite 1980s movies. :)

  3. Did you ever wonder why Faro chose that particular place to do his art? I wonder if he too had to wade up to his ankles in mud to get there. I suppose graffiti "canvas" is not so plentiful. It would be interesting to know the pecking order as artists divvy up what's in short supply. Do they ever paint over each other's work?

    Why don't you write a book about graffiti in America? You could get a sponsor and travel all over the US interviewing artists and taking photos. I would buy it!

  4. Mark: What movie is that??

    Barbara: Faro and the other writers in his "crew" chose this spot because it's visible from the train, which carries thousands of passengers right past every day. The mission of any graffiti writer is to get noticed! (Writers who hit highly visible locations also earn points for being ballsy.) I don't think this area is always as muddy as it was the day I visited -- probably depends on recent rainfall, etc. You're not the first person to suggest that book idea -- I'm mulling it over!