Keep on ‘crawling.the meeting end-point was at Union Square, but that was many blocks away from the Financial District where I was. I really had to draw some newspaper boxes. Being from the UK these boxes seem so ‘America’ to me. I don’t mean the ones where you get the free paper, like the ones in London that stock all those Aussie magazines like TNT (do they even still have them?), but the ones where you put in your money and take a single newspaper (even though any thief could just nick the lot). I think of Superman, with Clark Kent getting his tie caught. But with newspapers closing nationwide, these things could very well be a historical relic (like the phonebox…)
Something else you don’t see much in American cities these days are streetcar cables, hanging over the traffic. San Francisco still has lots of them; I drew some on the corner of Post and Kearny. These cables remind me of Europe, but not London, where we haven’t had them for donkey’s years (incidentally, if you ever buy a donkey calendar they are incredibly good value because donkey’s years are very long. Never, ever buy a dog calendar though.)
Fire hydrants however will never go out of fashion (at least I don’t think so). I love them, another reminder of ‘America’ (and possibly a Superman film again). We don’t have them like this in the UK. Did you know it’s illegal (or at the very least a bad idea) to park in front of one? If you do, fireman can smash your windows to run the hose through it, I am told. Seems like a bit of an effort, while rushing to put out a fire, threading the hose through the car, squeezing over the seat, meanwhile buildings are burning down. Think about that before parking there next time.
And so the final meet-up in Union Square. I ambled in, saw the sketchers plotted about in clusters, didn’t see anyone I recognized, so sat and drew Union Square’s palm trees. Eventually sketchbooks were passed around and I spoke to some other sketchers, including Enrico Casarosa (Sketchcrawl’s founder), and met fellow Urban Sketchers correspondents Gary Amaro and Marc Taro Holmes, among other very interesting artists. It’s always a big learning experience to meet other sketchers all with very individual styles.
It got cold, as the fog was rolling in, and so after a little while I called it a day. Well nearly a day, still had just a little more sketching to do before going home. More to come…