New York Daily Photo Analytics

Monday, April 06, 2009

traPt


Pratt Institute is considered one of the finest art schools in the United States, known for its programs in architecture, art, fashion, photography, design, illustration, interior design, digital arts. Unlike NYU or Hunter College in Manhattan, whose campuses are essentially the city of New York, Pratt is cloistered - the campus is completely closed and gated. Add to this its location in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn which at one time was one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city and you can appreciate how clever I thought a student's T-Shirt was that he was brandishing some years ago with the word traPt on it - an anagram of the word Pratt and indicative of how some students have felt. Nearby Myrtle Avenue was nicknamed Murder Avenue in the 1990s.
Certainly the neighborhood has gentrified significantly over the years and has benefited by a tremendous reduction of crime city wide, attributed to the NYPD's Compstat program and an increase in the numbers of police officers in NYC, starting in 1990. I was curious about the actual crime statistics in the neighborhood, so rather than rely on perceptions or anecdotal evidence, I decided to go right to the source - NYPD website and look at the Compstat statistics for the 88th precinct, which covers Pratt Institute. I compared it to the 6th precinct in Greenwich Village, home of NYU. I expected to see a much greater disparity but was surprised to see that the crime statistics were not that disparate. You can see them here: the 6th Precinct and the 88th Precinct.
The atmosphere of a real University campus is quite special in New York City, and Pratt is graced with a 25 acres which includes a sculpture garden featuring a variety of works. The work in the photo, Welcome II by alumni Raphale Zollinger, is one of the most arresting along with Philip Grausman’s large idealized white female fiberglass head, Leucantha. Welcome II's 5 naked prisoners are cast in concrete. See front view and read the the plaque here.
An ironic work for such a beautiful garden - perhaps relics of feeling traPt ...

5 comments:

An Honest Man said...

Excellent photograph and great description - if only I could match it!

Brian Dubé said...

An Honest Man - That is quite generous of you. Living a robust life in a city like New York over many decades has provided me with an enormous number of experiences to draw from. There is a story now in almost everything I see and do.

erel said...

Can't help noticing the use of French quotation marks, and the missing period at the end of the text (on the plaque).
Artistic license, perhaps?

B Squared said...

I still find it strange...

Brian Dubé said...

B Squared - The whole thing is strange. The sculpture and the school - an oasis in disrepair.