We were looking for an image for a mural for the back wall of the restaurant, and there was one which kept cropping up time and time again. No other shot would do – it was taken by acclaimed NYC photographer Vivienne Gucwa in Canal Street, China Town, New York City.
So we contacted Vivienne to request the rights to use her photograph ‘Another Time Another Place’ to make a giant 3 metre by 5 metre wallpaper mural for what would be The New Club.
It works better in our space than we ever imagined it would, and passers by stop in their tracks to look at the mural.
‘Another Time, Another Place’ looks back on another era of that fascinating city which produces its own art just by being New York City. There is something nostalgic about it, and something deeply moving.
In Vivienne’s new book ‘NY Through The Lens’, this is what she says about it:
‘New York City evolves at a rapid pace. Change occurs faster in some areas than in others. Lower Manhattan is one place that has changed more than others in the last decade. Development happens fast and the current trend is for tall buildings constructed mostly of glass, housing chain stores and luxury boutiques. In neighbourhoods which were once home to artists and rebels, long time residents have found these changes hard to swallow. They’re often at risk of being priced out of neighbourhoods they have called home for decades.
Despite these changes, there are still parts of lower Manhattan that recall other decades. During the 1970s much of Lower Manhattan was transformed into a danger zone, full of rampant crime and abandoned lots and buildings. Having grown up in New York City in the 1980s and 1990s, I have vivid memories of riding graffiti covered trains from Queens to Manhattan. I was taught to watch my back at all times, since everyone seemed to know someone who had been mugged.
When I first came across this section of Canal Street, my heart almost leapt out of my chest. Here I was, staring at a spot in Chinatown that seemed as if it had been frozen in the New York City of the 1980s. Thankfully, I had my camera. It’s so hard to put into words how powerful this scene is for me personally. It’s a bit like staring at something that once existed in a previous life.’
Background image copyright Vivienne Gucwa