The Sketchbooks of Peter Koval: Another Peek

Photographer Peter Koval has been busy: Since last month’s peek at his Tribeca sketches, he has made seven more. You can see more of his work—including sketches of other neighborhoods—at Click to see them larger. His comments are in italics.

UPDATE: Peter says you can buy prints of his sketches here.

Canal Street in NYC. I hate Canal Street. For some reason it’s a tourist destination—but to me it’s a pit of desperation, curbside scam artists, bad food, over crowded sidewalks, despair, sweaty people, and heavy traffic. I walked across this street millions of times when I lived in Tribeca, going into SoHo for coffee. I thought it would be a great idea to document it, though I found nothing pretty about it, and I think that’s reflected in this sketch. It’s dark, dirty, the colors are muddy, and the people are a blur. It was challenging sketching on this very busy street corner, getting bumped and stared at, so I quickly sketched the structure then filled the rest in with my impression of it, which was chaotic.

42 Lispenard, just south of Canal Street is a great red building on a grimy street. It used to be the home of the Pearl Paint annex, but since the recession (depression) has since closed all their annex shops but still maintain their main store on Canal St. I used to go here often since I was only a few blocks away. Now I get most of my art supplies from Blick, out of convenience and availability.

Moved to this location in 1904, and made famous by being the headquarters in Ghostbusters, this Firehouse in Tribeca was also one of the first responders to the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Next to Hook & Ladder 8 in Tribeca, if you look up, you’ll catch an array of buildings leading up to a water tank. As early as the 1800’s all buildings taller than six stories needed water tanks to keep water pressure up in higher floors. It’s become an aesthetic staple in the NYC landscape. In 2006 Tribeca required all new buildings to have water tanks atop them even if they weren’t being used.

This door actually is in an alley between Walker Street and Canal Street called Cortlandt Alley. The alleys around Tribeca and Chinatown are very Blade Runner, especially if there is a haze in the air and the sun is reflecting off the fire escapes. I liked that the address was 72 and it was 72 degrees out.

This is basically across the street from the Liquor Store Bar. I always found the old wooden doors, and iron window theft protector, incongruous to the concept of the post-industrial vision of downtown. I feel the same way about carriage houses in Brooklyn Heights.


1 Comment