A 9/11 memorial in the West Village got a surprise addition to its collection on Saturday. In a frenzied mix of patriotism and general disgust with the state of Astor Place, “Mosaic Man” Jim Power decided to move his planter dedicated to first responders from its original spot.
Mr. Power said the decision came to him after learning that the Walk of Remembrance honoring Rev. Mychal Judge, a firefighter who died while giving last rites to a comrade at the World Trade Center, would pass by the Tiles For America memorial at Seventh Avenue and 11th Street.
The assorted tiles honoring those who died on 9/11 was a perfect fit for Mr. Power’s planter dedicated to the F.D.N.Y. and N.Y.P.D., which he said he quickly put together in the days after the attacks.
“I hope no one misses the planter – it went to a better spot,” said Mr. Power, 63.
But the artist behind the East Village’s iconic light-pole mosaics said there were other bonuses to his moving the planter. For one, his art would now be in a high-profile location outside of his usual stomping grounds. “I’ve crossed lines now,” Mr. Power said. “I’m spread over both Villages — it’s a new day.”
And just as importantly, he was getting sick of Astor Place, anyway…
Click through to read the full story on Jim’s overture to the West Village, including his thoughts on Astor Place, those flaming cactuses and more here. (via Stephen Brown at The Local: East Village).
The Villager covered the move, as well here.
Photo by Lincoln Anderson for The Villager
Here’s to ten good years with the planter in the East Village. May it find solace and happiness in its new location for years to come.
Jim has been busy this week building a mosaic’d bench that will also make its home near the memorial.
So, head on over to the new western frontier of the Mosaic Trail at Mulry Square where Greenwich Avenue meets Seventh Avenue South. The Tiles for America memorial has been cared for by the Village Angels since it initially went up in the days following the attacks on September 11th, 2001. Members of the group, with the help of over 40 volunteers, had removed the tiles prior to Hurricane Irene and have been replacing them and hanging new ones all week in the lead-up to memorial events planned for the 10-year anniversary of the attacks.
Via the GVSHP:
This memorial will be going on through the weekend, culminating on Saturday with an organic memorial where people are encouraged to come to Mulry Square at any time with candles, guitars, photos, or anything that inspires them, and help hang the tiles. In a recent Villager article, [Village Angels founding member] Dusty Berke said that this process will let people “feel that they’re part of the rebuilding process.”
And an added note: the MTA currently owns the land at Seventh and Greenwich Avenues, and has plans to build a ventilation plant at the site. They will again remove the tiles for safekeeping while construction is underway, a spokeswoman said. The current design, (which Community Board 2 and the Landmarks Commission have criticized), permanently embeds the tiles in rows on the exterior of the building. Jim has been asked to assist in the design.
(Thanks to the GVSHP and DNAinfo for additional reporting).