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NYC – St Mark’s Place – Unique Lampposts

Here is a November 2016 update




On many walks you may find yourself just wandering around. Hopefully, you might stumble onto something that in unusual, different or never seen before. (By you!)

The East Village is always a great place to wander. I was standing on the corner of St Marks and 2nd Avenue and noticed that the lamppost was covered with mosaic pieces. Wow, how may time have I been at the exact same spot and never noticed the lamppost! Curiosity took over, as I walked along 8th St (St Mark’s) I found a few others. Took a few photos and later, when home, did a little research.

Lara Ehavan wrote, “one of the East Village’s claims to New York fame is this: the neighborhood’s lamp posts. In certain areas of the East Village, they’re adorned with tiny mosaic tiles, painted tiles, fragments of dishes and pottery, tiny mirrors, coins, jewel tones, and small sculptures, adding unimaginable color and character to an already colorful neighborhood.”

 A newspaper reported that he has decorated around 60 or 70 poles since then. From what I can gather, A man that started this project is Jim Power decorated his first pole In the 80’s. Returning from military service in Vietnam with undiagnosed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and become homeless.he is in poor health.

The sad part is that many of the mosaic art posts are gone today. During the Giuliani administration his art was removed by the Ant-Graffiti Task Force. The Bloomberg administration thanked Power with a 2004 Proclamation that allowed him to continue his work. However, some articles have written that only about a quarter of the lamp posts on the original trail have survived through the years.


Most of Power’s works are concentrated on 8th Street, which transitions into St. Mark’s Place. The stretch of the street between Avenue A and Broadway is known as the “Mosaic Trail.” One Saturday I took the walk along the Trail, sad to say there are not many lampposts left. Astor Square is undergoing a redesign and most the lamppost in this area  have been removed. Walking east on 8th Street you find only a few on the Avenue corners and hardly any between the blocks. For some only the bottoms are still visible.



East Village – previous blog


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