No need to go to the MoMA, Met, or Guggenheim to see amazing art in the city - just take a look around you. New York City is literally plastered with street art. But where do you even begin? It takes a real pro to decode the stories behind the pastes, slaps and tags on the streets of Gotham and that's where Saddleshoe Tours comes in.
Saddleshoe Tours was started in late 2011 by an enthusiast named Lia who turned a passion for photographing the city's street art into a serious business after impressing all of her friends with her massive amount of knowledge on the subject. The name? It's because she rocks her signature saddle shoes of course! She also hates carrying something that remotely resembles a classic tour guide flag or sign, so if you lose her, you can just look for the bright pink laces.
Lia's tours are all about opening your eyes and discovering the impressive paintings, hidden sculpture, and stylized prints, right under your nose. Her tours are like urban scavenger hunts, and by the end you'll be able to recognize Roa's murals, Stickman's Stickmen, and way more, which will earn you some serious cool points with your friends.
Since new pastes and tags go up every day (or night, most likely) the tour is never the same and there's always new work to get excited about. Feel free to ask plenty of questions too, because Lia will definitely be able to answer them - she's like an NYC street art encyclopedia. The most fun part about the tour is how interactive it is, half way through you'll be pointing out works by Mr. A, Curtis Kulig and Alec Monopoly while being quizzed by Lia on your surroundings.
Saddleshoe Tours currently offers two tours, one through the edgy East Village and Soho neighborhoods, and another in the trendier Meatpacking District and Chelsea areas. The tours are equally fun for tourists and native New Yorkers (the days we went we were joined by locals as well as a group from the UK) - even a friend of ours who isn't into art really enjoyed himself and ended up texting us photos of graffiti on his way home. To see available tour dates, check out Lia's website, and keep up with her on Twitter.
what NYC Street Art Tours by Saddleshoe Tours
where LES/Soho, Meatpacking District/Chelsea
when Next tour is August 5th 11AM (LES/Soho)