Summertime brings all my friends to the “yard”, well not yard, but to the city. And this past weekend, one of my best friends came up to visit for another quick but fun respite. Last time we ventured to Astoria, this time Williamsburg. She lived in Brooklyn once upon a time and was completely shocked by how much Williamsburg has changed….
Restaurants, boutiques, bike riders, skateboarders, hipsters, and sky high rent…oh, my!
Anyhow, the main reason we ventured to the neighborhood was to visit Kara Walker’s “A Subtlety” installation and “homage to the unpaid and overworked artisans who have refined our sweet tastes from the cane fields to the kitchens of the new world…” located at the legendary Domino Sugar Factory.
“I didn’t know that the purpose of refining sugar is to turn it from brown to white.” Walker stated in an article and I’d say I didn’t expect this installation to evoke the emotions it did as we toured the site. I’m not going to get political or racial here (not sure I’d be able to capture the feelings I felt effectively). But, these two reviews give you an idea:
- Taking My BAby to Kara Walker’s Sugar Baby (Huffington Post)
- Kara Walker’s Sugar Sphinx Evokes Call From Black Women: We Are Here (Color Lines)
By this time next year, this landmark will likely be on its way to being a “mixed-use” property with retail space and condos. If you’re in New York this week, I encourage you to visit the installation before it closes July 6. Be prepared for a long line. Seriously, it’s like 4+ blocks long and about a 45-minute wait but it seemed to move quick and it’s definitely worth the wait. When else will you get to see and have a discussion around a giant Sphinx made of white sugar with the head and backside of a mammy and brown babies fashioned out of unrefined sugar?
(photos taken by me, via iphone)