When you think of street food you don’t think of street art. They are two very different concepts that resonate strongly with us New Yorkers. We are very proud of both. We brag about the delicious meals you can find on many street corners and food trucks around town. We also like to talk about the amazing street artists who brighten up our city. We never talk about marrying the two. I guess we can thank the pandemic for this. Or more importantly, Bill Tsapalas.
Mr. Tsapalas created The Neighborhood Curbside Canvas Project. If you dined downtown recently, you’ve probably seen the canvases. We’re not referring to the canvases you’re used to seeing but nothing short of great New York street art. Mr. Tsapalas comes from a restaurant background and watched his local downtown restaurants shutter and creative arts darken due to the crippling pandemic. When people started venturing outside last summer, he noticed a semblance of community returning. This was probably the highlight of our year. Bill did what many of us did during the warm months and rode his bike through the neighborhood, happy and proud that these establishments popped up outdoor spaces, but also worried that the outdoor season was short and restaurants would need to do everything they could to maximize this moment. He also realized these popup patios were simply ‘blank canvases. And since we are blessed to in a city rich with artists, designers, photographers, architects and art students’ creative types, what better than pairing our local artists with our neighborhood restaurant’s ‘blank canvases.’ Makes sense, right? Glad someone thought about it!
And so, the NEIGHBORHOOD CURBSIDE CANVAS PROJECT was born: a volunteer, neighborhood-recovery effort to drive interest, energy, foot traffic and business back to these establishments and give local artists a public forum. It’s a group that exists for your benefit and helps the restaurant and communities that we live in.
We live in venues around our city and support any way to help them during this time and enhance your experience. Thank you, Bill Tsapalas! For more information and to find out where to see this great art, visit curbsidecanvas.com!