Saturday, March 31, 2012

Street Art That Inspires, Part 1: You Go Girl!

I've had a great concept for a recurring blog post for a while now and am finally getting around to executing it. I'm going to do recurring posts that combine a few of my loves - my love of NYC, photographing graffiti & street art while biking and running, and phrases about thinking positively or inspirational/motivational/thought provoking messages. This is Installment 1.

As I began exploring my city by bike a few years ago I became exposed to more graffiti than ever before. One of the first phrases that caught my eye was spray painted very large across the top of a building along the West Side Highway around 23rd St. It was the words "You Go Girl!".

I photographed it that first time -

"You go girl!" and "Cars Kill"
This is the first time I saw it and first photo I took of it in April 2009 when I was training for my first ever bike-tour, the Five Boro, which was just one month later
Since that first one, I've seen this phrase show up in many places. (This is the fun "scavenger hunt" aspect to bike riding for me - looking for my favorite graffiti to show up in places where it wasn't before.) You'll notice there are a few variations of the "You Go Girl" font. I'm not sure if this is because several people are responsible or just one person who has a few writing styles (though according to this short article there's only one person behind it). It's sometimes seen with the block letters "Cars Kill", so I am guessing the same person does that one too.

I think this is a great phrase because it's so simple - positive, supportive and fun. And the funny thing is I can't tell you how often people shout this exact phrase out to me when I'm on my bike. Total strangers in cars that see me riding the Hello Kitty Cruiser around NYC telling me "You go, girl!". So I guess this phrase is sort of a little anchor for me now.

Here are some of my favorite captures of this positive phrase:

You go girl!
On a rock in Williamsburg Brooklyn at North 5th St & Wythe

"You go girl!" I'm going, thank you!
along Flushing Ave, Brooklyn (by Admiral's Row) in 2009 and in pink!


You go girl!
the garage door of a candy place in Williamsburg

You go girl! (on Gold St, I believe)
on a garage gate along Gold St in Brooklyn

You Go Girl
On the bike path side of the Manhattan Bridge

You go girl! (on East 6th St)
on the LES in Manhattan - 6th St, just off Ave A
You go, girl!
along Flatbush Ave in Brooklyn - taken during the Tour de Brooklyn 2010
You go, girl!
on a rooftop in DUMBO Brooklyn - as seen from the Manhattan Bridge
You go girl!
I'm really not sure where this one was but I love the lips/fangs/wing piece next to it
You Go GIrl!
I apologize this is blurry but it's the only shot I have - if you look at the building in the mural, they actually included a "You Go Girl" piece (at the East River Bar in Williamsburg)
Untitled
along Bedford Ave in Brooklyn

You Go Girl
on the pedestrian side of the Manhattan Bridge

Untitled
on the Queens side base of the 59th St Bridge - by the pedestrian/bike path entrance

Untitled
and this one is on Franklin Ave in Greenpoint Brooklyn. I took this shot on a run not long ago.
If you want to see more of this specific street art, here is their Flickr group. And here is my own set on Flickr.




11 comments:

  1. I think somebody is proposing to you, using this street art! The clue - Sweet Talk... Isn't that the music you listen to when you run? Oh, I'm wrong, it's Girl Talk. Bumma. I thought I solved a mystery!

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  2. aw this is such a sweet compilation. =)
    It reminds me of that one Dr. Who episode ... (dunno if you watch) but the one(s) where the girl keeps seeing the words "BAD WOLF" in random places. That had a more creepy feeling to it though. This has a much sweeter and pleasant feel to it haha.

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  3. There is a race in WA - called You Go Girl Half. Maybe it's a sign you need to visit Washington State.

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  4. I wish people would shout motivational things at me when I went out running! Instead I get smirks, sneers, and leers. Maybe I need to start looking cute when I go out, like you! :)

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  5. Love the post! Always looking for and finding motivation, beauty, and encouragement around you is *just* the way to be.

    I just saw this article and immediately thought of you:
    http://tinyurl.com/7owcodq

    Another pretty, dark haired little New York dynamo kicking ass all over the place.

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  6. THe one with the lips and fangs is on DeGraw Street in Brooklyn right by the corner of Bond Street by the Gowanus Canal.

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  7. Yahoo. Weight Watchers is a great system, but huge kudos to you for going the whole nine yards. Love your new blog, and in celebration will go out for a spin immediately. Oh wait@! It's raining and I'm hungry! Great photos. I'm liking the lips and fangs, too.

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  8. I love how you find beauty and inspiration in things.

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  9. I could really use this kind of divine encouragement.
    Maybe it's time to move to New York!

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  10. 2 years ago I thought I was the first to notice.

    http://whatyourdonotknowbecauseyouarenotme.blogspot.com/2010/05/you-go-girl.html

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