Top Manhattan street art locations to explore

There are many reasons why you should move to New York. It is a big city, full of big opportunities. You might be coming here for school, or to get a fresh start. But whatever your reasons are, you will be sure to enjoy the city. There is just so much to do here! From the many activities you can do to the wonderful sights you can see – New York offers a place for everyone. However, there is one thing you can look into that not many tourists pay attention to. This is not a type of art that you will not see in any of the top Manhattan museums. It is also not in most of the New York or Manhattan guidebooks. New York has a huge collection of amazing graffiti. In this article, we give you our pick of the top Manhattan street art locations to explore.

Get a good look at a protected graffiti

As you might imagine, there are a lot of things that are quite unique about New York, as well as its graffiti. Banksy’s Hammer Boy is one of those things. How many times have you heard about a building owner putting Plexiglas over graffiti to preserve it? This is exactly what the owner of a DSW store decided to do when they find it on their wall back in 2013.

A graffiti mural.
Banksy’s art has a protective cover.

It was a smart idea – Banksy has grown to become one of the most famous graffiti artists nowadays. If you do not know much about the medium, his pieces reach millions of dollars at various auctions. Another thing that makes Hammer Boy unique, as well as one of the top Manhattan street art locations, is that you can find it at W 79th Street near Broadway. If you are moving to New York as a newcomer, then you might not know that graffiti murals are rare for the Upper West Side.

100 Gates Project is one of the top Manhattan street art locations

100 Gates Project is another one of those top Manhattan street art locations that you need to see. It spawned form skateboarder Billy Rohan’s idea with the Lower East Side Business Improvement District. What makes 100 Gates Project so unique is that you can only view this outdoors gallery after hours.

The point of the project is to match artists with the local business. Then, the artists paint the security gates of the shops. When the businesses close, the city gets wonderful artwork during the night. The idea is so popular that nowadays it is spreading further out of the Lower East Side. Other places to see these graffiti include East Harlem (where reliable Harlem movers can take you), North Shore (Staten Island) as well as the Little Carribean in Brooklyn.

You need to visit the Hall of Fame

Now, you cannot go hunting for the top Manhattan street art location without visiting the Graffiti Hall of Fame. You can find it on a wide stretch of East Harlem wall. Those who know they NYC history can tell you that this is right next door to the BET’s former residence. It was founded by activist “Sting Ray” Rodriguez in 1980 and remains an integral part of the New York street art culture until today.

A man painting a mural.
Many New York artists work with murals.

The aim of the Hall was for people to express themselves in a positive way, and many artists sure did that throughout its long history. You can find Dez, Crash, Tats Cru, Delta, Flight, and Skeme here – as well as many more tags and pieces! The Hall keeps refreshing during the annual event on August 25th and 26th from noon to 8 pm. Joey TDS organizes it in order to paint over some of the old pieces on the wall at East 106th Street at Park Avenue. It is an event you can’t miss after moving to Manhattan.

2 World Trade Center is a place you need to visit

All of the places we mentioned before hold impressive art in them and all are amongst the top Manhattan street art “venues” you need to see. However, if you still don’t believe us, then you need to pay 2 World Trade Center a visit. The metal shed covering the foundation of the upcoming skyscraper is spotted with amazing pieces that will take your breath away!

Among the names who worked here are Todd Gray, Hektad and BoogieRez. Then, there are also Stickymonger as well as Chinon Maria and Sebastian Mitre – artistic husband-and-wife duo. The artwork you will find here takes inspiration from pop art and anime. It is bright and colorful and adds a great splash of color in the Financial District.

Check the High Line

The final place that you can check after professional movers leave you in Manhattan is in Chelsea. This is one of the best fighters for the advantages of graffiti murals. It shows just how well they can transform something old or rundown into something that has artistic value and everyone can enjoy. This is why the High Line has gathered many street artists.

Chelsea High Line is one of the top Manhattan street art locations.
You can find many great murals in Chelsea High Line.

And even though you can find tags in one of the top Manhattan street art locations, there is also amazing art waiting for you. For example, you can see Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous photograph “V-J Day in Times Square”. However, this one is in full color instead of black and white. You can see these and many more if you go to 10th Avenue and West 25th Street. This is a great vantage point for everyone interested in this unique form of art.