Things That Matter

Graffiti Is Popping Up On NYC Subway Cars Again And Not Everyone Knows How To Feel About It

Back in the ’70s and ’80s graffiti art thrived in New York City, especially on subway trains. All of that changed in the ’90s and today it’s extremely rare to see a moving subway train with graffiti on it. It just doesn’t happen mainly because artists would risk getting arrested if caught spray painting a train. But things might be changing, and it’s so refreshing to see.

A working Q train on 96th Street station in New York City was covered in brilliant graffiti art.

Credit: @MrEdgardoNYC / Twitter

The images went viral on social media earlier this week because you just don’t see this kind of art display anymore. The New York Post spoke to an MTA official, and they said the artist probably painted the train while it was parked in the station overnight. We could have sworn all MTA subway stations had surveillance cameras everywhere. We suppose the artist is extra slick.

The artist has not come forward to claim their work.

Credit: @NYCAntifa / Twitter

They’d probably be arrested if they did.

“If they can go back there and have the time to do all of that graffiti, they have time to do something to the train,” Train conductor Tramell Thompson, a transit activist who runs the Progressive Action Facebook page said to the Post. “It’s obvious they have no security back there.”

If artists know that no one is watching the trains overnight, we may have another resurgence of subway graffiti art on our hands once again.

Credit: @JMartinezNYC / Twitter

However, what may look cool to some commuters doesn’t sit well with local lawmakers. According to The City, in 2018, New York City Transit spent $610,956 to clean graffiti, which they say was “an increase of 364% from the $131,539 spent just two years earlier.”

Here’s how some people are taking the news about new subway graffiti art.

Credit: @yerrritsdsy / Twitter

It’s beautiful artwork.

The artist must know this area is not monitored by security.

Credit: @SKastenbaum / Twitter

Some say that the job had to be completed by more than one person so it could get done fast.

When you’re working on a time constraint, the adrenaline gets you moving fast.

Credit: @Horace_Badun / Twitter

They are master craftsman.

The more exposure it gets, the more people will get inspired.

Credit: @trips760 / Twitter

We hope to see more of it!

READ: Graffiti Artist Completes Inspiring Mural in Oakland, CA

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These Terrariums And Fairy Gardens Are A Lil’ Homies Dream Come True

Culture

These Terrariums And Fairy Gardens Are A Lil’ Homies Dream Come True

Lil’ Homies are one toy that we all remember. They little figurines were so much more to us than little toys that we got from toy vending machines. Adrian Ortiz is using them to create something magical and giving people a non-Eurocentric take on terrariums.

Adrian Ortiz is giving Lil’ Homies their own terrariums in which to flourish.

Ortiz understands the cultural importance of Lil’ Homies because it was one of the first times he saw himself represented, like so many of us. The toys were a welcomed moment of representation for Ortiz after spending so many years seeing so many white narratives in the media and toys.

“I started making terrariums with Lil’ Homies in them as the figures because I noticed how traditional fairy gardens were always representing white/European figures,” Ortiz told mitú. “I thought about how perfect they were in size. I wanted to dedicate my art page to the idea of people of color existing and participating in nature.”

Ortiz feels supported from his followers as well as his boyfriend. His art has been a welcomed breath of culturally relevant plant art in people’s social media feeds.

The ongoing pandemic gave Ortiz a chance to dive deeper into a hobby he already had: plants.

“I have always been into plants and nature since I was a kid and I began making terrariums and fairy gardens in the past year to deal with the pandemic like so many others,” Ortiz says. “There is something super special about making miniature tiny living worlds. I wanted to make fairy gardens but I ended up with something halfway between terrariums and fairy gardens but with cholos. So I created the ‘Brown People Indoor Miniature Gardening TikTok’ series on my tik tok account.”

Ortiz’s TikTok account, aptly named @botanical_homie, has more than 7,000 followers showing that people are really into the idea of Lil’ Homies living their fairy garden dreams.

The terrariums are another chance for people of color to be represented in the world.

Ortiz was in an arts school for middle and high school. In that time, the school fostered an understanding of racial injustices and introduced Ortiz to the concept of artivism, art as activism. It was, according to Ortiz, a moment when he realized that he wanted to dedicate his art to BIPOC.

“I grew up and live in Colorado and have seen the lack of access BIPOC have to outdoor activities like hiking and mountain climbing,” Ortiz explains. “These are white-dominated sports and activities that some POC never get to experience. I want to create a world where we can be anything and do everything, even if it’s miniature. A utopia for us to take back what is also ours.”

Ortiz is making the terrariums for everyone, even people who struggle to take care of plants.

Covid quarantining has forced so many people to think they make perfect plant parents. Yet, taking care of plants is something that doesn’t com naturally. Ortiz had to spend time trying to figure out what plants are the best for everyone.

“Part of my challenge in creating these terrariums has been figuring out what kind of plants people can keep alive. They all have different requirements so getting plants should always depend on your space and lighting,” Ortiz says. “I come from the generation of YouTube so I always say do research, it’s part of the fun. The biggest thing about having plants that people don’t realize is that you just have to pay attention to them, often. But again it depends, some plants are indestructible.”

Ortiz is happy to be able to create this art and hopes to make them more accessible.

“If you want to support me and my art work you can contact me via Instagram about commissions,” Ortiz says. “Shipping these pieces is not easy or ideal so I appreciate everyone’s patience as I learn and evolve. My goal is to work on larger installations and I’ll be putting out DIY kits in the near future.”

READ: If You Call Yourself A Frida Kahlo Fan Then You Should Be Following These Five Artists

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Lawsuit Over Subway Tuna Sandwich Claims That It’s Mystery Meat

Culture

Lawsuit Over Subway Tuna Sandwich Claims That It’s Mystery Meat

Oh, mystery meat. We live in America which means we’re all bound to come across it at some point. From the school cafeteria to even our favorite taco joints, we’ve all been faced with the alarming realization that at some point we’ve definitely eaten it.

Fans of Subway are coming to the realization about the circumstances of Subway meals, once again, thanks to a recent lawsuit challenging the substance of its tuna.

A new Subway lawsuit alleges that the sandwich chain’s tuna is made from a “mixture of various concoctions” made to “imitate the appearance of tuna.”

Brought forth by Karen Dhanowa and Nilima Amin, two women from California on Jan. 21 the lawsuit claims that “independent testing has repeatedly affirmed, the products are made from anything but tuna.” The lawsuit did not share any evidence of the claims.

Amin and Dhanowa’s lawyer, Alex Brown, asked in a statement last Friday, “What is Subway selling? We don’t know yet, but we are certain it is not tuna… We’re confident that our clients will prevail when they get their day in court.”

In response to the claims, Subway has launched a marketing barrage challenging the allegations that its tuna is fake.

“Keep fishing folks, we’ll keep serving 100% wild-caught tuna,” Subway posted in a Tweet.

The company is offering 15 percent off of its footlong tuna subs with the promotional code “ITSREAL” proving that they’re not waiting for a court to settle the accusations made about its tuna salad. According to CBS “The fast-food chain is already appealing to the court of public opinion with an advertising blitz touting its tuna salad sandwiches and wraps as made with ‘100% real wild caught tuna.'”  

They have further decided to stand by the quality of their tuna, sharing in a statement last Thursday that “There simply is no truth to the allegations in the complaint” and their tuna is mixed with mayo.

“Subway will vigorously defend itself against these and any other baseless efforts to mischaracterize and tarnish the high-quality products that Subway and its franchisees provide to their customers, in California, and around the world, and intends to fight these claims through all available avenues if they are not immediately dismissed,” the fast-food chain stated.

Maggie Truax, Subway’s director of Global PR told CBS MoneyWatch. “Subway delivers 100% cooked tuna to its restaurants, which is mixed with mayonnaise and used in freshly made sandwiches, wraps, and salads that are served to and enjoyed by our guests,” she stated. “Unfortunately, this lawsuit is part of a trend in which the named plaintiffs’ attorneys have been targeting the food industry in an effort to make a name for themselves in that space.”

According to Subway’s website, the company’s tuna salad is made with flaked tuna in brine, mayonnaise, and a flavor-protecting additive.

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