The street is very photogenic and in pictures denotes a gritty New York City despite its location in one of Manhattan’s pricier neighborhoods crisscrossed by cobblestoned and treelined quiet streets. It’s a backdrop instantly recognizable as New York City. An additional characteristic that makes it so unique is the third story pedestrian bridge between two buildings on the section of Staple that runs between Jay Street and Harrison Street. It was built in 1907 as part of an annex to New York Hospital and is one of the only remaining pedestrian bridges in all of New York. Due to Staple being more of an alleyway than a street, it sports an ever-changing display of graffiti tags and artwork. It seems not a day goes by without a photo shoot taking place or a music video or even a movie being shot. If you do an image search for “Staple Street TriBeCa” on Google, you will see a never ending parade of pictures like some of those I’ve reposted below. In fact, if instead you cast your gaze upward, you’ll see the bridge behind me in the photo that (dis)graces this site’s header.
So, it wasn’t a complete surprise that Banksy, the reclusive London-based street artist, chose Staple Street for his most recent installment in his month-long residency in New York. It’s near Ground Zero, it’s known for graffiti art, and it looks interesting on camera. Perhaps he had his own reasons that have nothing to do with my conjecture but it has certainly centered more attention than usual right outside our front door.