I have this thing with painted walls. And not just the famous Disney walls, or the “purple wall that started it all”. Lately it seems every time I turn the corner I’ve spotted a new mural on the side of a building, or what I like to call “free art”. So I thought it would be fun to start a little series showcasing different public art murals, a little series I’m calling “Wall Crawl”. Like a pub crawl, except instead of booze you get a free dose of artistic inspiration.
This weekend I visited a little neighborhood in Jacksonville called Murray Hill. My brother Michael just purchased his first house in the neighborhood, and soon his sixteen-year Brooklyn residency will be coming to an end and he will be a Floridian again. Michael and I have never been suburbs people, so naturally when it came to buying his first home, it had to be in an up-and-coming undiscovered neighborhood. (He lived in Bushwick before it was cool. Like before it had grocery stores.) Murray Hill is like Brooklyn South. A greasy spoon diner, a coffee shop with bearded baristas, and every brick building a canvas for a different artist. I spotted at least five beautiful murals, but this one was just a quick walk around the block from Michael’s house, on the side of a bar called Tradewinds that we had been doing drunken karaoke in just 18 hours prior (of which all photographic evidence has been destroyed).
Right across the street is an adorable little walk-up ice cream window called “Dreamette” – straight out of the 1950’s. Despite the sweater I’m wearing it’s still warm enough in Florida to enjoy a frozen treat.
One of my favorite buildings in the neighborhood is the Murray Hill Theatre; the marquee can be seen from Michael’s living room window. It’s nice seeing historic architecture preserved instead of torn down.
If you stroll down Edgewood Avenue you can see other cute storefronts, some of which have been rehabbed and others are still in their original state, waiting for some love from the right person. One of my favorites was this yellow door:
I hope to get to explore some more of the neighborhood next year when Michael moves into his house. Until then I will be on the lookout for more local art!