April 21, 2009

Signs Of The Times in the TIMES

I've noticed that the NY TIMES has been getting pretty adventurous in the ways that it covers news. With its "grey lady" days long behind, the TIMES has recently taken to commissioning artists and illustrators for soft news and feature stories.

The TIMES recently put up a slide show of drawings by artist Jane Chiverton which grabbed my attention. It consisted of illustrations of store fronts in the city reflecting these brutal economic times. What I really liked about Chiverton's work is that it honestly documents what I have noticed walking around town in recent weeks; family businesses closing after decades (like this butcher in Chelsea), abrupt restaurant disappearances (like the Two Boots on Ave A and the famous Vesuvio's Bakery), and an ever growing number of "for sale/rent" signs in shop-happy hoods like SoHo and the West Village.

There is no doubt we are deep into this Great Recession. And, as Chiverton's drawings illustrate so vividly, the signs are literally everywhere.