September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document


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Title:Art project maps the G to save it

Author:Marcin Szczepanski

Publication:Nowy Dziennik / Polish Daily News

Original Language:Polish

Translator:Lukas Bulka




Body:Tamara Gubernat distributes postcards. Throughout the second half of November and the first weeks of December, from Monday to Friday, Tamara is out distributing postcards with photographs of the neighborhoods crossed by the G train.

The evening of Friday, Nov. 15 , was not a nice one for walking. Penetrating winds and cold rain brushed the few passengers getting on or off the train at Smith-9th Street, the last stop on the G line. Tamaras silhouette was barely noticeable. And there was another person standing in the street distributing flyers for a local supermarket. But Tamaras words convinced the travelers to reach their hands out for what she was offering.

Discover the neighborhoods along the G line, meet your neighbors, postcards are free, repeats Tamara, who graduated with a B.A. in Fine Arts from Bard College, in upstate New York.

Fourteen postcards of 14 different neighborhoods distributed at 14 subway stops. At each station, Tamara gives away 500 postcards.

Her art project, Discover the G Line, aims to document the neighborhoods crossed by this train, from the ports of industrial Red Hook, through well-kept Carroll Gardens, Black Bedford-Nostrand and ending in Polish Greenpoint. The artist took one picture in each neighborhood; now shes returning with photos of other places the G makes stops.

I grew up in Greenpoint. Ive been taking the G all my life. Since this line does not come too frequently, Ive had a lot of time to think about what I could encounter at other stops on this line, says Tamara, whose parents emmigrated from Poland. She speaks the language of her ancestors well. For Tamara, postcards are a way to connect the underground subway with whats above it, with the vibrant life of the neighborhoods. I would like people to be more aware of what Brooklyn really is, how fascinating the ethnic and cultural mosaic are that exist in this borough. I would also like my project to raise the self esteem of the residents in the neighborhoods along the G train, explained Tamara.

The G is the only subway line that does not enter Manhattan. Under a city restructuring plan for the line, and over the protests of Greenpoint, the city closed some of the Queens stops during rush hour. Tamara is involved in keeping the G line running, and hopes her project will help convince city officials that New Yorkers need the G.

Tamara will reach the Polish neighborhood at the end of her journey across Brooklyn. On Dec. 3, 4 and 5, at 5:30 p.m. sharp, she will be distributing postcards at Metropolitan Ave., Nassau Ave. and Greenpoint Ave.

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