It’s easy to get caught up in the New York City rat race, marked by a high-status job, trendy clothes and the eternal quest for a spacious apartment. If you were passing through the East Village on Saturday, however, you got a reminder of what is really important in life:
“Become your dream”
That’s the message behind a string of uplifting chalk drawings that spanned the length of St Marks Place. The artwork bore the signature of James De La Vega, a New York street artist with roots in the East Village.
De La Vega’s store on St Marks Place closed in 2010, but it appears the artist has not forgotten his old neighborhood.
The chalk drawings formed a sort of treasure trail, with several messages scrawled on each block. I stumbled across my first chalk drawing on 3rd Avenue– not far from Astor Place– and followed the artwork to the entrance of Tompkins Square Park. The trail grew cold across from a mural of punk legend Joe Strummer.
While I didn’t find a pot of gold at the end of the trail, the chalk art was payoff enough. De La Vega’s drawings brought a burst of excitement to a rather ordinary Saturday. Even after the chalk images wash away, I’m left with the artist’s message:
“Be mindful even if your mind is full”
“Realiza tu sueño” (In Spanish, “Make your dream come true”)