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Origin of Crossing Broadway

Broadway is one of the most recognized avenues in New York City, equal parts promise and grit. Her expectations doesn't always live up to her presence on the movie screen, but her diversity in story-telling represents an experience of life in her complicated glory. When I look at this painting I see the tire tracks in the muddy snow as I wait for the light to change and the electric bike that almost hit me when it blew through a red light. I smell the food drifting out of the restaurants I pass, and the tantalizing wafts of smoke from the food carts. I see the pallets in front of Fairway, and witness the confusion when someone realizes most of Broadway doesn't look like the scenes in the movies. I see the excitement of the tourists as they experience the light, noise, and crowds in Times Square. I see people in front of the theaters, ready to lose themselves in stories that represent places and times that are not often our own. I remember how deserted the avenue can get after 10 pm on the Upper West side and know there will be more and more traffic as I walk further downtown. After going to an appointment during the pandemic, I found myself walking home. I didn't want to take the subway since it was supposed to be for essential workers only. Eventually I found myself walking through Times Square. Everything was closed, and there were few people on the street. It was so quiet and strangely beautiful. Still, the ever-present hum of the electricity was still in the air, although perhaps a little bit softer than usual. It was like a pilot light. Still there, as small as it might be. Holding her in it's glow. This iconic avenue has so many stories it continues to tell. This painting reflects just a few of mine.

- Shona

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