Alien invasion in the Lower East Side (street art photo of the week)

Is it a surfboard? An alien? A comic book character?

I’m frequently asked these questions about my Twitter avatar, which shows a blue blob with a single eye and a mischievous smile:

Alien street art on the Lower East Side

I snapped the photo this summer on a stroll through the Lower East Side and Chinatown. I was jonesing for a bubble tea at Ten Ren Tea Time on Mott Street, and decided to walk there from the East Village.

The sun was shining, the streets were buzzing with activity, and I wanted an excuse to wear my favorite (and little-used) orange tank top.

I always keep an eye out for street art and bring my trusty Canon G11 when I roam the city streets. But I didn’t expect to find this clever graffiti art on Houston Street!

Street art on Houston Street

This adorable blue alien covers about a third of a block on Houston Street.

Something about this work makes me smile; when I look into Mr. Blob’s eye, I feel like a child watching Saturday morning cartoons.

Street art on Houston Street

I’m not sure who created this masterpiece, and a Google search did not turn up any leads. The main clue is a cryptic signature:

2501 / N.Y. 08 / Sk vB / PiF

Perhaps it is written in an alien tongue?

Street art on Houston Street

The artwork has been covered by scaffolding for ages. I kind of like the plywood and metal bars that obscure this street art; they make it seem like you are “discovering” a hidden work or art for the first time.

I felt like the urban, female version of Indiana Jones when I stumbled across it!

Street art on Houston Street

The street mural is actually quite complicated. The alien is joined by several fluffy creatures that look like silk worms and doughnuts. The bright colors and bubble shapes remind me of Keith Haring‘s New York City graffiti.

Street art on Houston Street

At the end of the mural there is another clue that hints at the artist’s identity. Written in glowing green letters, the text reads:


It’s heartwarming to know this creative artwork was inspired by the artist’s love for his (her?) sister.

If you know who created this masterpiece, please leave a comment below!


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About Leslie Koch

I'm a New Yorker with a passion for travel and art. I founded after returning from a year-long backpacking trip around the world. Find me on Twitter at @leslietravel.