Tell Me About Duarte Square
The lot bordered by Grand, Varick, Canal Streets and Avenue of the Americas, just west of Duarte Square, is about to feature prominently in the ‘rezoning of Hudson Square.’
Over the last few years, the lot has hosted, through LentSpace, various art installations, events, live music, gourmet food trucks and lessons on how to take care of city tress by the Million Tree Inititive.
It has also been an un-official dog run (before Trinity locked it down tight,) and a site of Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Faith protests. The site has consistently provided disconcerting moments as people get off the 1 train at Canal and wonder ‘where am I, where was the building that used to be here?’ It does take years to get used to the open space. The question is – will we have another summer of lime green umbrellas and tree boxes, or is construction about to happen?
Quote from Makiko (Maki Kaoru) whose “half awake, half asleep” installation became part of Occupy Wall Street’s experience in Duarte Square in December of 2011:
“My husband and I were watching news in London and we saw a very familiar site/view on the news. I saw my work behind a lot of people! I actually saw a part of my work was being cut and removed by protestors too. It is a bit intense to see this from here as it had taken considerable amount of time and effort to create the work, but I feel it’s honor to see my work behind such a historical moment in New York. After all, it is public art and anything can happen.
It is kind of funny and ironic, but part of my intention for making this work “half awake, half asleep” at LentSpace was to give warmth and peaceful feeling to the neighborhood. So, I find this contrast is interesting.”