Category: ENG1101 Project #5

Building New York, a Humument created by Kevin J. Ayala is a Piece that was inspired by Tom Phillips’s rendering of text from the original Humument. In this Humument, We are shown of Ayala’s expression for New York and  his love for it expressed by this short Humument. Complemented by the drawing of what seems to be an interpretation of New York during a night time setting, it reads, ” I’m Here because i was born here, Building private New York, All worldly possessions in hand, Look: there, the first brick in your city”. The text that Ayala creates this Humument from was from Colson Whitehead’s “City Limits”, a Essay describing people first encounters with New York and how its settings begin to change overtime, but not the person’s Interpretation of “…Their own New York”. The piece was made in Brooklyn, N.Y in December of the year 2014, Being displayed in the Brooklyn Gallery of Art and Poetry.

This piece seems to be made from an actual document (Or a possible copy) that contains a section from Colson’s Whitehead’s essay, “City Limits”. The document was drawin over with what seems to be color pencils, using cool, dark colors to compliment the Night setting of what seems to be drawn as Ayala’s Small interpretation of what New York looks like in a small window, With a Building drawn on the left side of the page, along with a small view of a bridge in the middle, behind the buildings (what seems to be Brooklyn Bridge). The one red rectangle on one of the buildings located above the word “Brick” in the humument really gives diversity into the work, also passing the message of seeing “The first brick in your city”

By Using Whitehead’s Text, Ayala wanted to give a short but meaningful message of experiencing New York for the first time, and what it has to offer to a person’s experience in the area. For all his life, Ayala has lived in Bronx, New York, surrounded by influences and inspiration. To capture those small moments in life, he decided to study in an artistic major. This way, he can draw out those small moments in his mind and be able to transfer that idea in a creative way, either be by poetry or a drawing, painting, etc. For his whole life, he always had a thing with music and drawing, the music part being an influence into poetry. Originally when he created his Humument, it was a project for his freshman year at City Tech College located in Brooklyn, New York.  For his whole English 101 class, the writing that was done was mainly revolved around the [Brooklyn,] New York area and its influences towards the student.

Ayala’s influence to make this humument was once again, his love for the New York state and its appealing moments, areas, etc. The picture drawn for the humument was inspired by the Brooklyn area, and its plentiful buildings along with a sight of the Brooklyn Bridge. The area was new to him during the time and it was something he wanted to explore with his free time, thus came the idea of the picture for the Humument. Ayala was so fascinated and intrigued by the surrounding Brooklyn area, he wanted to capture that scene with both a drawing and a type of poetry. Since his situation fits the theme of Whitehead’s “City Limit”, Ayala thought it would be the perfect essay to use to describe the experience of his first time on Brooklyn when he attended college.

Ayala’s Piece has earned its place in our museum due to its artistic look and excellent use of poetry within a text as a normal Humument would do. He really did capture the meaning of coming to an area for the first time, beginning a new map of your personal New York and your experiences that are to come in the future.

One of the main purposes of this route is to give walkers a more dynamic and in depth relationship to the area that surrounds them and what it has to offer to make a persons walk, or even their day, more enjoyable. Currently, this route is best taken place during the Autumn season, but it is possible for the same route to have a different appearance  to others in different times [Season’s] of the year. The following route from the train station from Borough Hall to the pier located near the Manhattan Bridge is meant to create an enjoyable walk for some, but perhaps not all that enjoy the natural cross over between nature and urban society.

The first section of the route that will begin to catch the walkers eye is the very beginning from Cadman Plaza around Columbus park, leading to the entrance of Cadman Plaza Park. The entrance itself is quite appealing at first sight with the orange tinted leaves on the trees that arc from the left and right side of the entrance, spreading out to the rest of the park, to the outside areas as well. Combined with the small urban structures of the benches, light posts,and the orange barricades in the construction area, it brings a welcoming sight to the walker coming through the park. Also the bright green that radiates from the center of the park really gives the area a value of color to the area, making it pop out to the walkers. This is just one of the three major points in the walk where urban society and nature join to create a wonderful sight, as walkers will begin to see this theme climax till they reach their destination.

The second area that becomes appealing to the walker is the half way point of the route, within the connection of Hicks street and Cranberry street. Through this section of the route, walkers will have a pleasant scenery of the colored leaves that line up through the street side by side with the houses. Whats so appealing about this section is how the trees blend right into the colors of the buildings that are right next to them. Combined with then yellow and green leaves that compliment the scenery and give it more color to create a pleasant area of interest for almost anyone’s walk. This is especially true going down Cranberry street, as it seems to be the perfect example for such a scenery between Urban society and nature.

The third and final area of the route that gives walkers a great appeal is none other than the destination itself which is the boardwalk, located near the Manhattan Bridge. The view itself from the boardwalk speaks for itself, as it gives a fantastic view of both the ocean and the city of Manhattan which is right across from the walkers view point. If the walker looks to their left from the pier, they have a small but decent view of the Statue of Liberty that can be seen from a distance. This view is best on a sunny evening, since the sunlight that reflects off the buildings, reflect into the water, giving the water more of a beautiful gleam to it, catching the eyes of many viewers. Not only that, but seeing the boats and fairies that pass along the water show how once again nature and urban society can cross paths, giving a meaningful viewpoint for anyone’s walk.

In conclusion, once again, the idea of this route was to not only give walkers a scene of enjoyment, but to show them the co-existence of nature and urban society today. Its somewhat like yin and yang, one cannot exist without the other. Only together will they create a balance between each other, giving meaning to something or someone. For a quick example, what if the view of the boardwalk did not have the buildings that are there now? it would still look nice yes, but it would seem a bit boring to look at after awhile. That’s why we have an urban society today, not only to give people a way of living, but to co exist with nature and what more it has to offer versus what we have to offer to it in the co-existence we have today.

Sources to all parts of project:

Rough Draft
Response to peer member