The neighborhood at 110th Street in the Upper West Side, initially gave the impression of exclusivity and the grandeur of English-Tudor styled apartments increased the tone of “poshness” in the area; giving me the impression that the prominence of the area was heavily associated with the very important people who lived there. Without being acquainted with the area I was influenced by my preconceived notion of the area and assumed that the community was self-confined and not open to interacting with outsiders or surrounding communities.
That soon changed as I noticed smiling faces as I walked up and down different blocks in the neighborhood. I even caught a couple waving gestures and hellos! I felt like everyone thought I lived right next door to them and I wasn’t even walking a dog or jingling a set of apartment keys to indicate that I even lived around them. The warm salutations made me feel a lot better about my visit to the area and I didn’t feel like anyone questioned my association to the area. The close relationships I saw in the neighborhood spoke millions about other features I discovered in the area, including a huge fountain that featured pieces of art that were collaborated by individuals in the community.
You can see by the message in the artwork pictured above, that the neighborhood on 110th street is a great area that is centered around community and more importantly building strong relationships. The fact that the neighborhood sponsored to share these works of art with the public is also testament to how open the community on 110th street is to “inter-community” involvement instead of “intra-community” involvement. I believe art is a great way to facilitate community involvement because beauty is found in developing many forms of expression and finding how to facilitate diverse thought and build tolerance is essential for a successful community in the 21rst century.