May 23, 2010
Recently I bought a bicycle. Now when I go and draw I don't use my car. I've discovered different neighborhoods to draw because of bike paths. I'm taken through places I ordinarily wouldn't have traveled. There is a war waging between the Hasidic community and the bikers. Seems that the way to get in and out of Williamsburg flows through the major Hasidicville. The Hasidic are even painting out the bike paths. As I was spinning through there the other day on the Sabbath, I noticed an amazing building. I set my bike to the side and stood on the street staring at it. There was a problem. The streets were filled with Hasidic families strolling the boulevards as they do each Saturday. I felt like an intruder. A bike intruder no less. What should I do? Should I just leave them alone and go away. I was transfixed by the building. If I set up my stool and start drawing are they going to be hostile towards me? I made my choice. I unfolded my stool and began. As the drawing grew a bit, something unexpected happened. I was mobbed. They stood 5 deep trying to get a look at what I was doing. Everyone wanted to talk to me. They told me it was the home of a very famous rabbi. Everyone was dressed to the nines in their fur hats and suits. The kids went crazy. There would be 25 at a time crowded around me. Jostling, pushing and shoving. They gave me no space and constantly asked questions. Did I go to art school? Where do I live? What are you going to do with the drawing? Are you going to come back tomorrow? The whole scene was not what I thought would happen. Families gave me their address and asked if I could send a copy. Everyone was so appreciative of my talents. Most people on the street watch me for five minutes and then move on. They would watch sometimes for a half hour without moving. One kid asked if he could bring other kids over. I said sure. Within minutes there were kids all over me. A couple of them took my business card. During the week a Hasidic woman called me and asked if I would do some work for her. She needed some birds and flowers drawn for some plates she was making. She too, wanted to know when I was coming back. It was so crazy. I have to go back there. I would have loved to have filmed it but it is not the kind of situation you can just whip out a camera. Stay tuned because I shall return to see what happens next.